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Punjab slams Canada over Sikh extremism

Chief minister Amarinder Singh Sunday protested the Canadian government, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, removing all references to Sikh extremism from its 2018 report on terrorism which had earlier listed it as one of the top five terrorist threats to the country.

The 2018 report on terrorism, first released in December last year, drew the ire of the Sikh community at the time of its release as it was the first time it listed Sikh extremism as one of the top five extremist threats in Canada, the Toronto-based CBC news said.

Singh protested the Trudeau administration’s decision, saying it “succumbed to domestic political pressure”.

“The move is a threat to Indian and global security,” he said.

Amarinder said the “knee-jerk decision” by the ruling Canadian Liberal Party was aimed at protecting its political interests in an election year. It could have serious consequences for the Indo-Canadian relations in the long run, Singh said. “(Canadian Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau is playing with fire with his decision to assuage inflamed domestic passions through this ill-considered move,” he claimed.

The world cannot afford to fan extremism in any form, which is what the Trudeau government is effectively doing with such ill-thought moves, he added.

He pointed out that he himself had given proof to the Canadian Prime Minister during his India visit last year, of his country’s soil being used to spread the separatist Khalistani ideology against a friendly country.

Singh had handed over to the Canadian PM a list of nine Canada-based operatives allegedly involved in promoting radicalism in Punjab, which has the highest number of Sikhs in India.

The chief minister dubbed the “erasure of the various references to Khalistan and Khalistani organisations” from the latest threat report “as an unpardonable act in the eyes of the peace-loving global community.”

“It is obvious that Trudeau had played safe in view of the upcoming elections in Canada, giving in to pressure within his country. In the process, he has quite blatantly ignored the adverse impact this could have not only on Canada’s relations with India but also on geopolitical stability,” he added.

First Published:
Apr 14, 2019 23:59 IST

Source: HindustanTimes