Days after Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came out in support of protesting farmers, India summoned the Canadian envoy Friday and warned that such “actions”, if they continue, will have a “seriously damaging impact” on bilateral ties.
Trudeau, however, did not back down from his comments.
“Canada will always stand up for the right of peaceful protests anywhere around the world. And we are pleased to see moves towards de-escalation and dialogue,” he said in Ottawa when asked about India’s move.
Earlier, the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement: “The Canadian High Commissioner was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs today and informed that comments by the Canadian Prime Minister, some Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament on issues relating to Indian farmers constitute an unacceptable interference in our internal affairs.”
“Such actions, if continued, would have a seriously damaging impact on ties between India and Canada,” it said.
“These comments have encouraged gatherings of extremist activities in front of our High Commission and Consulates in Canada that raise issues of safety and security. We expect the Canadian Government to ensure the fullest security of Indian diplomatic personnel and its political leaders to refrain from pronouncements that legitimize extremist activism,” it said.
This statement is different from its statement Tuesday because the MEA mentions the Canadian Prime Minister. In its earlier statement, it had mentioned “some Canadian leaders”.
A broad spectrum of Canadian leaders have expressed their opinion on the farmer protests, which has not gone down well with the government. Earlier this week, after Trudeau came out in support of the protesting farmers, India had reacted sharply against “ill-informed comments” on the “internal affairs of a democratic country”.
Speaking to Canadian-Sikh community leaders at an online event on the occasion of Gurpurab, Trudeau said: “I would be remiss if I didn’t start by recognising the news coming from India about the protest by farmers. The situation is concerning. We are all very worried about family and friends. We know that’s a reality for many of you. Let me remind you, Canada will always be there to defend the rights of peaceful protesters. We believe in the process of dialogue. We’ve reached out through multiple means to the Indian authorities to highlight our concerns.”
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