After holding extensive talks with his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today made it clear that those challenging India's sovereignty, unity and integrity cannot be tolerated, seen as a veiled reference to the Canadian government's soft approach towards the Khalistan issue.
Modi also asserted that there cannot be any place for those who misuse religion for political motives and promote separatism. "We discussed the entire gamut of bilateral partnership, and identified concrete steps to boost cooperation. We agreed to strengthen our defence cooperation," Modi said, while noting that terrorism and extremism were threats for democratic countries such as India and Canada.
Trudeau's pro-Khalistan approach is being criticised by many including Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who raised the issue with the Canadian prime minister during a meeting. On his part, Trudeau had assured Singh that his country does not support separatism in India or elsewhere. Modi made it clear that those who challenge India's sovereignty, unity and integrity cannot be tolerated. After extensive talks between Modi and Trudeau, the two sides inked six pacts, including on energy cooperation.
Modi, following his nearly two-hour long meeting with Trudeau, said during a joint media event with the Canadian prime minister, that it is important that the two countries work together to fight terrorism. Observing that Trudeau has visited various parts of India in last few days, Modi said the Canadian leader must have experienced the diversity of the country. On his part, Trudeau described India as a natural partner for commercial cooperation. Modi said they have also asked the officials of their countries to re-double their efforts to finalise the bilateral free trade agreement.
Earlier, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on the Canadian prime minister and discussed various issues of mutual interest. Swaraj had a warm meeting with Trudeau and discussed ways to strengthen and deepen the partnership between the two countries, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.