After Trudeau’s comments on farmer protests, India seeks to downturn political relations
New Delhi, Dec 15: Following the remarks made by Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, India has sought to downturn the political relations.
India has asked Canada to put off the foreign office consultations between the top diplomats of the two countries.
Riva Ganguly Das, the foreign minister's secretary (East) and her Canadian counterpart were expected to meet on Tuesday. However, the meet has been postponed at New Delhi's insistence and Canada as told that the date was inconvenient.
This comes in the backdrop of Foreign Minister, S Jaishankar skipping the Ministerial Coordination Group of COVID-19 organised by Canadian Foreign Minister, Francois-Philippe Champagne to discuss strategies on the coronavirus pandemic. India had cited the same reason. While staying away from the December 7 meeting, India had cited scheduling issues.
Officials however say that the economic relations between the two countries will not be impacted by the strain in political ties.
Earlier this month, India had strongly reacted to comments made by Trudeau, calling the remarks ill-informed and unwarranted as the matter pertained to the internal affairs of a democratic country. In a terse message, the ministry further added that 'it is also best that diplomatic conversations are not misrepresented for political purposes.' In a video posted on his Twitter account, Trudeau said,'the situation is concerning and we are all very worried about family and friends and I know that is a reality for many of you.
Let me remind you, Canada will always be there to defend the right of peaceful protest.' He also said,'we believe in importance of dialogue and that is why we have reached out through multiple means directly to Indian authorities to highlight our concerns.'
Canada has around 1.6 million citizens of Indian origin. While a large number of them are from Punjab, around 7 lakh are Sikhs. The comments were largely aimed at the 2021 elections.