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S Jaishankar recalls culprits who threaten Indian diplomats, expects action

Written by  Shefali Kohli -- February 27th 2024 11:16 AM
S Jaishankar recalls culprits who threaten Indian diplomats, expects action

S Jaishankar recalls culprits who threaten Indian diplomats, expects action

New Delhi : Despite maintaining a comprehensive relationship, Canada and India have recently experienced diplomatic tensions which arose in September 2023 after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused Indian agents of being involved in the killing of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, Canada.

Recently, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday said that India anticipated that action will be taken against those responsible for the attacks on its High Commission in London and Consulate in San Francisco, as well as those who threatened Indian diplomats in Canada last year.  

S Jaishankar further mentioned that India had to halt visa issuance in Canada due to persistent threats and intimidation faced by its diplomats, with little support from the Canadian authorities at the time.


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Speaking about the situation in Canada, Jaishankar said, "We had to suspend the issue of visas in Canada because our diplomats were not safe going to work, they were repeatedly threatened, intimidated, and got very little comfort from the Canadian system at that time...which has improved since then."

"We reached a stage, where, as a minister, I could not risk exposing my diplomats to the kind of violence prevalent there. That part of it has been rectified, so today our visa operations are pretty much normal," he added.

The EAM further called out the argument of 'freedom of expression' stating that throwing smoke bombs at missions and advocating violence is a "misuse" of freedom of speech.

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"Regarding the space that is being given to extremists, they keep saying us, 'There is freedom of speech, democracy'. Freedom of speech can't extend to intimidating diplomats, throwing smoke bombs in embassies and consulates, advocating violence and separatism against a friendly state. To me, this is not freedom of speech. This is a misuse of freedom of speech," Jaishankar said.

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Recalling the vandalism incident on the Indian High Commission in the UK, he said that the mission didn't get the protection which was expected 

"To the point of someone climbing on to our HC and bringing down our Indian flag. I asked my colleagues 'Let's put us in each other's shoes'. How would you react if a mob attacked your premises anywhere in the world? You will not say freedom of speech and expression, you will be jumping up and down. But, things have improved in the UK," the EAM said.

Notably, there has been notable increase in separatist extremism in various countries including Canada, Australia, the US, and the UK. 

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Following the killing Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June last year, Indian diplomats have been targeted in multiple countries and were issued threats.


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