WASHINGTON: Highlighting incidents of threats, violence, and intimidation against Indian diplomats and missions in Canada, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar questioned whether the reaction would have been the same if a similar situation had occurred in any other country.
He further emphasized that the situation in Ottawa should not be normalized.
Addressing a press conference in Washington DC on Friday, S Jaishankar said, “…Our point is that there is today a climate of violence, an atmosphere of intimidation…Just think about it. We have had smoke bombs thrown at the mission. We have had our consulates…violence in front of them. Individuals have been targeted and intimidated. There are posters put up about people”.
“So tell me, do you consider this normal? Okay, this is about this…if this had happened to any other country, how would they react to it? I think it is reasonable question to ask,” he added.
The External Affairs Minister further stressed that the ongoing situation in Canada should not be regarded as normal, and it is crucial to draw attention to what is happening there.
“Let’s not normalize what is happening in Canada. What is happening in Canada, had it happened anywhere else, had the world taken it with equinamity…had those countries taken it so calmly? So I think it’s necessary to call out what is happening there,” Jaishankar said.
He added, “And our point is this: There may be an individual incident. Yes, if there is an incident and there is an investigation and there are allegations you know there are processes involved in it… nobody is disputing that…but to say what else is happening is part of the course…because there is freedom of speech, to make threats and intimidate diplomats. I don’t think it’s acceptable”.
Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged that the Indian government is involved in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
However, India has outrightly rejected the claims, calling it ‘absurd’ and ‘motivated’.
Notably, Canada has yet to provide any public evidence to support the claim about the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
India has suspended its visa services in Canada, following Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau’s allegations of Indian involvement in the killing.
Amid strained ties, India issued an advisory for its citizens and those who are travelling to Canada to exercise “utmost caution in view of growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence” in the country.

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