THE World Sikh Organization of Canada on Monday welcomed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s comments to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with respect to foreign interference and respect for the rule of law during G20 meetings in New Delhi, India.
The WSO noted that Trudeau said in a press conference that “Diaspora Canadians make up a huge proportion of our country, and they should be able to express themselves and make their choices without interference from any of the many countries that we know are involved in interference challenges.”
Trudeau confirmed that he spoke with Modi on the issue of foreign importance and respect for the rule of law, the integrity and sovereignty and democratic institutions and the ability of citizens of a country to choose their future.
The WSO said that India has been identified by the current National Security and Intelligence Advisor to the Prime Minister as a top source of foreign interference in Canada. It added that Sikhs in Canada have long reported alarming foreign interference over the past several decades and mentioned several such cases that have been reported in the media in the past.
WSO President Tejinder Singh Sidhu said: “We thank and commend Prime Minister Trudeau for raising the issue of foreign interference with India and defending the rights of Canadians to engage in peaceful advocacy and exercise their right to freedom of speech.
“India has engaged in espionage and interference activities targeting Sikhs in Canada for decades. Advocating for Khalistan and against human rights abuses in India is not illegal in Canada and despite India’s claims, is not extremism. India has repeatedly tried to link increased trade ties with Canada to its demands that Canada suppress Sikh activism and advocacy.
“We are heartened to see Prime Minister Trudeau take a strong and principled position in support of human rights and Canadian values. We are hopeful that the Government of Canada will investigate and expose Indian interference in this country and take steps to safeguard the rights of Canadian Sikhs.”