Canada PM Trudeau reiterates support to farmers’ rights to protest despite strong opposition by India

Despite the Canadian High Commissioner to India being summoned by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) over comments made by Canadian politicians, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister has continued to maintain that he “will stand for the rights of the Indian farmers to peacefully protest”.

On Friday, Canadian envoy to New Delhi, Nadir Patel, was summoned by the MEA, and a strong demarche was issued where India said that such remarks made by the Prime Minister could have “damaging” impact on relations between the two countries.

“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,” a statement issued by the MEA said.

The statement added, “Such actions if continued, would have a seriously damaging impact on ties between India and Canada.”

PM Trudeau reiterated his position on the ongoing farmers’ protest against the farm bills in India on Friday. When asked about India saying that his remarks could impact ties, he said, “Canada will always stand up for the right of peaceful protest and human rights.”

He maintained, “Canada will always stand up for the right of peaceful protest anywhere around the world. We are pleased to see moves towards de-escalation and dialogue.”

Taking serious note of the views of politicians in Canada, India has said that it has encouraged anti-India elements such as Khalistani supporters to protest outside the Indian missions in Canada, putting the security of diplomats and staff in danger.

“These comments have encouraged gatherings of extremist activities in front of our high commission and consulate 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,” said the MEA.

The problems began when on the occasion of Gurpurab, the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, PM Trudeau in online interaction with the Sikh community leaders and politicians of Canada, said, “I would be remiss if I didn’t start also by recognising the news coming out of India about the protest by farmers. The situation is concerning, and we’re all very worried about family and friends.”

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