Take action against those facing terrorism charges, India tells Canada  

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that Canada should not become a safe haven for those involved in terror activities.

Published: 22nd September 2023 01:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd September 2023 01:00 PM   |  A+A-

High Commission of Canada

High Commission of Canada in India, at Shantipath in New Delhi, Thursday, Sept. 21,2023. (PTI)


NEW DELHI: Asking Canada to take action against those facing charges related to terrorism, India on Thursday said that Ottawa’s response to its requests for extradition of anti-India elements has not been helpful.

Responding to a query at the regular media briefing, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that Canada should not become a safe haven for those involved in terror activities.

"Safe haven is being provided in Canada, we want the Canadian government to not do so and take action against those who have terrorism charges or send them here to face justice," Bagchi said.

"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," he added.

Referring to terrorism, Bagchi said it is funded and supported by Pakistan. He also spoke of the issue of safe havens.  

"Not only terrorism but also the fact that it is funded and supported and we know this from sometime…from our western neighbours Pakistan...but the issue of safe havens, and places to operate have been provided abroad, including in Canada…and that...you know we would expect that is the main focus. The question is: do we have the political will to address terrorism or do we want to justify it and condone it?" he asked.

Visa services provider BLS International on Thursday said it has with immediate effect suspended Indian visa services in Canada.

BLS International Services Limited is an Indian outsourcing service provider for government and diplomatic missions worldwide. The company manages visa, passport, consular, attestation and citizen services.

“Due to operation reasons, with immediate effect i.e. 21 September 2023, Indian visa services in Canada have been suspended till further notice,” the company informed stock exchanges in a filing on Thursday.

Bilateral relations between India and Canada have hit a downward spiral after Prime Minister Trudeau on Monday alleged that "Indian agents" were behind the shooting of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Nijjar, chief of banned Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) and a “designated terrorist” was killed in a targeted shooting at British Columbia in Canada's Surrey in June 2018.

India has rejected the allegations by the Trudeau administration, terming them "absurd" and "motivated".

“We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister. Allegations of Government of India's involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated,"  MEA had said in a statement.

"Similar allegations were made by the Canadian Prime Minister to our Prime Minister and were completely rejected. We are a democratic polity with a strong commitment to the rule of law," it added.

ALSO READ | India temporarily suspends visa services for Canadians amid rising diplomatic tensions

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