Centre summons Canadian envoy over upcoming Khalistan rally organized by supporters

Pro-Khalistan supporters in Canada have organized a "freedom rally," which includes posters containing threats towards India's envoy in Ottawa and Consul General in Toronto.

New Delhi: The Indian government summoned the Canadian High Commissioner, Cameron MacKayove, on Monday due to a planned rally by pro-Khalistan supporters in Toronto on July 8. The rally, known as the "freedom rally," has caused concerns as the posters accompanying it contain threats towards India's envoy in Ottawa and Consul General in Toronto.

Canada has reassured its commitment to ensuring the safety of Indian diplomats within its borders after the circulation of these threatening posters. The Canadian government strongly condemns the posters and has pledged to take necessary measures to protect Indian diplomats.

Canadian Foreign Minister, Melanie Joly, stated that Canada places great importance on fulfilling its obligations under the Vienna Conventions regarding the safety of diplomats. She also emphasized that Canada is maintaining close communication with Indian officials regarding the disturbing promotional materials circulating online concerning the protest scheduled for July 8.

The Canadian envoy was summoned just a day after India's External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, expressed concerns about the negative impact of the "radical, extremist" Khalistani ideology on India and its partner countries such as the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.

In his statement, Mr. Jaishankar highlighted that India has urged its partner nations, including Canada, the US, UK, and Australia, to refrain from providing space to Khalistani activities. He emphasized that the radical and extremist thinking of Khalistanis is detrimental to all parties involved and can negatively affect their relationships.

The Indian consulate in San Francisco was reportedly vandalized by Khalistani separatists on Sunday, which has led to strong condemnation from the United States State Department.

The incident of vandalism and attempted arson was believed to be a response to the recent death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a designated terrorist who was associated with pro-Khalistan groups such as Khalistan Tiger Force and the Canadian branch of Sikhs For Justice (SFJ). Nijjar was shot dead in Canada last month.