India drives home message on Canada s PM Trudeau comment puts off meeting of diplomats

Relations between the two countries appear to be deteriorating following remarks by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over protests by farmers against the new agricultural laws. People aware of the whole matter have said that India has stopped the top diplomatic level talks between the two countries.

Indian Foreign Secretary (East) Rewa Ganguly Das and the Canadian counterpart were expected to hold talks on Tuesday (December 15), which India postponed. Behind this, New Delhi has spoken to Ottawa about the inconvenience of the date. Earlier, Foreign Minister S.K. Jaishankar left the meeting of the minister-coordinating group of the Kovid-19 organized by Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe last week. The meeting was organized on the strategy of corona virus. India, which had participated in the previous meeting of the group, cited the ‘scheduling’ issue to stay away from the December 7 meeting.

Prime Minister Trudeau had referred to the peasant movement taking place in India during a video interaction organized on the occasion of the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. He expressed ‘concern’ for the demonstration saying that ‘Canada will always stand in favor of the right to peaceful demonstration’.

Also read: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expresses concern over farmers’ performance in India

About 1.6 million people in Canada belong to the Indian community. A large number of them are from Punjab. There are about seven lakh Sikh population in Canada. It is believed that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a statement about the farmer movement for the year 2021 election. The other two Canadian parties — New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh and Conservative leader Erin Tool — had previously supported the peasant movement.

New Delhi summoned the Canadian ambassador following the Canadian Prime Minister’s remarks. India had said that the statements made by the Canadian Prime Minister and some cabinet ministers regarding Indian farmers are unacceptable. It is an intervention in India’s internal affairs. However, Indian officials have also stated that economic relations between the two countries will not be affected due to political ties.