Canada a safe haven for terrorists, extremists and organised crime: MEA amid diplomatic row

  ammu ammu   6873   21 Sep, 2023 

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India has termed Canada's allegations of Indian government agencies' involvement in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar 'prejudiced' and 'politically driven' Amid escalating diplomatic stand-off between Canada and India, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that Canada needs to look into its growing reputation of being a safe haven for terrorists, extremists, and organised crime. “Safe haven is being provided in Canada, we want the Canadian govt to not do so and take action against those who have terrorism charges or send them here to face justice…We’ve sought either extradition request or assistance related to that, at least more than 20-25 individuals we’ve requested over the years but the response has not been helpful at all,” Bagchi said. Addressing the media on Thursday, Bagchi also said, “Yes, I do think there is a degree of prejudice here. They have made allegations and taken action on them. To us, it seems that these allegations by government of Canada are primarily politically driven.” “We are willing to look at any specific information that is provided to us, but so far we have received no specific information from Canada. From our side, specific evidence about criminal activities by individuals based on the Canadian soil has been shared with Canada but not acted upon,” he said. He added, “You are aware of the security threats being faced by our High Commission and Consulates in Canada. This has disrupted their normal functioning. Accordingly, our High Commission and Consulates are temporarily unable to process visa applications. We will be reviewing the situation on a regular basis…” On increasing security at Indian Consulate in Canada, Bagchi said, “We have always believed that it is the host government’s responsibility to provide security. Some places we have our own security posture also. But, I don’t want to discuss security measures in public. That’s not an appropriate situation.” Bagchi also said, “If you’re talking about reputational issues and reputational damage, if there’s any country that needs to look at this, I think it is Canada and its growing reputation as a place, as a safe haven for terrorists, for extremists, and for organized crime. And I think that’s a country that needs to worry about its international reputation.” The MEA spokesperson also said, “The issue is not about travel to India. Those who have valid visas, OCIs are free to travel to India. The issue is the incitement of violence, inaction by Canadian authorities and the creation of an environment that disrupts the functioning of our consulates which is what is making us stop temporarily the issuance of visa services. We will review this situation on a regular basis.”

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