India, on Friday, summoned the Canadian High Commissioner and informed that comments by the country’s parliamentarians, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on ongoing farmers’ protest in Delhi could have “seriously damaging impact” on bilateral ties.
“Issues relating to Indian farmers constitute an unacceptable interference in our internal affairs. Such actions, if continued, would have a seriously damaging impact on ties between India and Canada,” a statement from the Foreign Affairs Ministry read.
It added that the remarks by Canada’s ministers and MPs had “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 refrain from pronouncements that legitimize extremist activism.”
On Monday, speaking at an event to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, Mr Trudeau had spoken in support of farmers in India and weighed in on the right to peaceful protest.
“Canada will always be there to defend the rights of peaceful protest,” said the 48-year-old, who was the first world leader to comment on the protest by farmers who faced water cannon, tear gas shells and lathicharge by the police in Haryana and Delhi before they were allowed to protest peacefully in the national capital.
India had immediately responded saying the comment was “ill-informed” and “unwarranted”.
“We have seen some ill-informed comments by Canadian leaders relating to farmers in India. Such comments are unwarranted, especially when pertaining to the internal affairs of a democratic country. It is also best that diplomatic conversations are not misrepresented for political purposes,” foreign ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava had said.