NEW DELHI: India on Friday issued a demarche to the Canadian High Commissioner over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's comments on the ongoing farmers' protest against farm laws.
The Canadian High Commissioner was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and informed that comments made by the Canadian Prime Minister, some Cabinet Ministers and Members of Canadian Parliament on issues relating to Indian farmers constitute an “unacceptable interference in India's internal affairs.’’
“The comments by the Canadian leaders on Indian farmers constitute an "unacceptable interference" in our internal affairs,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.
Dismissing the remarks made by Canadian PM Justin Trudeau on farmers' protest, the MEA called it "ill-informed" and "unwarranted". “Such actions, if continued, would have a seriously damaging impact on ties between India and Canada,’’ the MEA said.
“These comments have encouraged gatherings of extremist activities in front of our High Commission and Consulates in Canada that raise issues of safety and security. We expect the Canadian Government to ensure the fullest security of Indian diplomatic personnel and its political leaders to refrain from pronouncements that legitimize extremist activism,” the MEA said.
Trudeau had made the remarks while participating in a virtual video interaction organised by Canadian MP Bardish Chagger to mark the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion.
In his opening remarks during the interaction, Trudeau said, “I would be remiss if I didn’t start also by recognising the news coming out of India about the protest by farmers. The situation is concerning and we’re all very worried about family and friends.
“I know that’s a reality for many of you. Let me remind you, Canada will always be there to defend the right of peaceful protest. We believe in the importance of dialogue and that’s why we’ve reached out through multiple means directly to the Indian authorities to highlight our concerns," he added.
Canadian ministers Navdeep Bains and Harjit Sajjan and members of the Sikh community also attended the event.