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EAM Jaishankar opens up on anti-India, Khalistani activities in Canada; says ‘freedom being misused…’

In the midst of the recent attacks and acts of vandalism against the Hindu community, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar called out the anti-India and Khalistani activities occurring in Canada, calling the acts a “misuse of freedom.”

EAM Jaishankar pointed out that India has raised concern regarding the presence and operations of Khalistani separatist forces operating out of Canada to Ottawa, emphasising the need to ensure that freedoms in a democratic society are not misused by forces that actually advocate “violence” and “bigotry”.

While speaking to his Australian counterpart Penny Wong in Canberra, Jaishankar raised the issue of the increase of anti-India activities in Canada in recent weeks, and several incidents which saw the rise in Khalistani groups in Canada.

“From time to time, we have engaged the Canadian government, I have myself engaged with my counterpart on this (Khalistani) issue. And we have flagged the need to ensure that freedoms in a democratic society are not misused by forces which actually advocate violence and, and bigotry,” he responded to a question related to the Khalistani issue.

“So it’s important, I think, to understand really, how democracies should function not only at home but also the responsibility that democracies have to other democracies abroad,” he added.

Last month, a Hindu temple in Toronto was reportedly vandalised by a Khalistani group, a move which was condemned by the Hindu community of the country. The BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, Toronto was defaced by “Canadian Khalistani extremists” with anti-India graffiti in an apparent hate crime.

On September 23, India reacted sharply to the “so-called Khalistan referendum” in Canada and said that it was “deeply objectionable” that such a “politically motivated” activity by extremist elements was allowed to take place in a friendly country.

S Jaishankar, highlighting the frequency of anti-India activities in Canada, also pointed out that these crimes have not been brought to justice till now.

(With PTI inputs)

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