A group of former Indian Ambassadors on Monday in a hard-worded open letter to Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that his words on farmer’s agitation in India were “uncalled for,” “disconnected with ground realities” and “served merely to fan the flames.”
They condemned the minister terming it nothing more than a “vote-bank politics in Canada.” The letter read that such blatant interference in India’s internal affairs to appease a section of the Liberal Party’s voter base is “completely unacceptable” and “cannot but cast a long shadow on bilateral relations.”
Trudeau on the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev while interacting with the Sikh community last week waded into controversy with his comments on the farmer’s protest in India. “The situation is concerning, and we’re all very worried about family and friends,” he had said.
At least 22 retired diplomats signed the letter and underlined the fact that Canada’s support to the Indian farmer’s demand for MSP contradicts the stance that the nation took in the WTO where Canada was one of the harshest critics of India’s MSP system.
While Canadian investment in India is well-positioned to scale up, the letter added, “the fact remains that not unoften, bilateral political equations develop stress, due to the propensity of certain Canadian political parties and leaders to engage in vote bank politics.”
Additionally, the letter even condemned the nation’s indifference towards the separatist and violent Khalistani elements that carried out anti-India activities from the “safety of Canadian soil.” It added, “They (Khalistanis) are also radicalising the Canadian youth with far-reaching consequences which is being ignored at the altar of short-term political expediency.”
According to the former diplomats, Khalistani elements in Canada control a substantial number of prominent Gurudwaras. This gives them access to substantial funds, which are allegedly diverted to the electoral campaign of political parties, especially the Liberals.
The nearly two million-strong Indian population in Canada comprises five percent of the Canadian population of which the Sikh community is close to 7,00,000.