Indo-Canada strain overshadows KSLF

October 15, 2023 08:56 PM
Kasauli, Oct 15
Prolonged diplomatic strain in Indo-Canadian relations cast its shadow on the 12th edition of the Khushwant Singh Literary Festival with former RAW chief AS Dulat and former Canadian minister Ujjal Dosanjh expressing serious concern at the situation.
Though both of them talked primarily about their books, The Ties That Divide Us by Dosanjh and A Life In The Shadows by Dulat, the discussion in their sessions digressed to the contextual crisis that India and Canada are in..
Dosanjh, who has also been a premier of British Columbia today suggested that both the Indian and the Canadian governments should hold talks to diffuse the ongoing crisis in the interest of common people and suggested India relax visa restrictions in view of the festive season.
In conversation with Kim Lalli on the topic,  Dosanjh admitted that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau " might have jumped the gun by holding Indian agencies responsible for the killing of Khalistan activist  Nijjar" for some reasons but the relations between countries should not have been so strained..
Talking about his book Dosanjh  traced his journey from a remote village in Punjab to Canada in his early twenties he asserted that since he carried both the cultures along he seriously wanted the Indo-Canadian relations to get normal as soon as possible.
Talking about the activities of the Khalistani elements in Canada his stand had always been clear. If the Khalistanis want to express their mind and ideas, it is fine, but when they resort to violence it needs strongest condemnation. 
Dosanjh also wanted the Canadian government to ensure that there was no disturbance of peace. Moreover, Canada must control such elements which propagate dismemberment of another friendly democratic country. More importantly, the Khalistani elements should come to Punjab in India if they were so bent upon promoting the idea of Khalistan.
A big majority of Sikhs in Canada, he said, were not in favour of Khalistan. It was just a small section of them, who have gone from Punjab, who were making it an issue.
Dulat, on the other hand, strongly denied that the Indian agencies indulge in the kind of activities Trudeeu was attributing. He said the Indian agencies dont have such policies and designs.
But he categorically asserted that Canada should not become a haven for violent terrorists because it would cost it dear in the long run.
He hoped that the crisis between India and Canada would end soon. "These are temporary things, I hope the tension will blow over soon", he added.
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