Indian Diplomats Threatened In Canada. Expect Action Against Attacks On UK, US Missions: Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday said that India expects action against the culprits who were involved in the attack on the Indian High Commission in London and consulate in San Francisco last year, as well as those involved in threatening the Indian diplomats in Canada, reported PTI. 

“We expect the culprits in the attack in our consulate in San Francisco to be brought to book, we expect action against people who stormed into our high commission in London and we expect action against people who threatened our diplomats (in Canada),” Jaishankar said during an event in New Delhi. 

The Union minister said that India had to suspend the issuance of visas in Canada because its diplomats were being repeatedly “threatened and intimidated in many ways” and we “got very little comfort from the Canadian system that time”.

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Issuance of visas to Canadian citizens was temporarily suspended by India in September last year. The move came after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged a “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. 

Certain pro-Khalistani elements had launched an attack on the Indian High Commission in London on March 19 last year while an arson attempt was made at the Indian Consulate in San Francisco. 

In September, the Indian diplomats faced threats in Canada. “We had to suspend the issuance of visas in Canada because our diplomats were not safe going to work. Our diplomats were repeatedly threatened. They were intimidated in many ways and we got very little comfort from the Canadian system at that time,” Jaishankar said.

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“We reached a stage when as a minister, I could not risk exposing the diplomats to the kind of violence which was very clearly prevalent in Canada at that time. That part of it has been rectified. Today, our visa operations are pretty much normal,” he added.

On being asked about space given to Khalistani elements in Canada, Jaishankar cited instances of throwing smoke bombs into the Indian missions in that country.

“They (Canada) keep telling us that we are a democracy. There is freedom of speech and, therefore, people say these things,” Jaishankar said.

“Freedom of speech cannot extend to intimidating diplomats who are doing their duty. Throwing smoke bombs to embassy and consulates, advocating violence and separatism against a friendly state is not freedom of speech, this is misuse of freedom of speech,” he added.