KHALISTAN: PM Stephen Harper says he won’t ‘interfere’ with political rights of Canadian Sikh separatists

Published: November 8, 2012

Prime Minister Stephen Harper visits the Sikh temple of Sri Keshgarh Sahib Gurdwara in Anandpur Sahib, India on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

MARK KENNEDY
POSTMEDIA NEWS

BANGALORE, India — Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday he won’t “interfere” with the political rights of Canadian Sikhs who advocate a separate state in India — even though his government firmly opposes the idea.

However, Harper indicated the Conservative government would take action if it detects that those Sikhs turn to violence to advance their cause.

At a news conference as he neared the end of his visit to India, Harper was asked if he thinks Sikh extremism is a problem in Canada and, if so, what he is doing to stop it.

The question came after Harper was dogged by the politically sensitive issue during his trip because senior leaders in the India government called on him to quell the rise of “anti-India rhetoric” in Canada.

They were referring to a small group of Sikhs who are advocating the creation of a separate state — Khalistan — in India.

“The government is completely supportive of the unity of India,” said Harper. “The government of Canada and I believe the vast majority of Canadian people, including the vast majority of Indo-Canadians, have no desire to see the revival of old hostilities in this great country, here in India.”

Harper added that his government monitors “extreme developments — those who may embrace violence or threats of violence or terrorism.”

“We watch these things very closely and we work very closely with our partners in the government of India.”

However, the prime minister said “that obviously cannot be confused with peoples’ right in Canada to advocate a political position.”

“It may be a political position that both the government of Canada and the government of India disagree with. We can’t interfere with the right of political freedom of expression.”

Harper has walked a tightrope during the trip — declaring earlier this week that Canada stands for a “united India,” but also visiting a cherished Sikh temple in the Punjab region to pay his respects to Indians of that faith.

After visiting the temple on Wednesday, Harper brushed aside questions from Canadian journalists about whether there is Sikh extremism in Canada, merely saying the Indian government “knows our position.”

On Thursday morning, an Indian newspaper, the Tribune, reported that Harper had said at one point during his Punjabi visit: “We are committed not to permit any secessionist activities on our soil.”

Harper’s aides denied the report Thursday, and insisted he did not say those words.

Later in the day, when questioned at the news conference, Harper appeared keen to clarify where he stands.

During his trip, Harper met many of the Indian government’s leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Singh said the countries “have similar concerns in combating terrorism, extremism and radicalism.”

Preneet Kaur, the country’s minister of state for external affairs, complained about the “revival of anti-India rhetoric in Canada.”


PM Stephen Harper in India


Picture 5 of 6

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper inspects the Honour Guard as he arrives at Rashtrapati Bhavan (Presidential Palace) for the official welcoming ceremony in New Dehli, India on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press


Tags: , ,





Featured

sexi desi babes

Gallery: Wait for India’s Kingfisher Calendar Girl 2015 is almost over

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood actress and former beauty queen Neha Dhupia is busy mentoring the latest models in the Hunt for Kingfisher Calendar Girl 2015. An Indian…
Continue Reading »

Surrey vigil

Surrey mourns for victims of Pakistani Taliban terrorist attack with vigil (w/gallery)

ADRIAN MACNAIR SURREY NOW NORTH SURREY — Hundreds gathered in the drizzling rain at Holland Park Wednesday night to light candles and mourn the murder of…
Continue Reading »

Taliban attack

Pakistani student who skipped school on the day of Taliban rampage ‘isn’t talking to anyone’

VANCOUVER DESI A 15-year-old student of Pakistan’s Army Public School  – which was bombed by the Taliban this week, killing 141 people, of which 132…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Surrey vigil

Surrey mourns for victims of Pakistani Taliban terrorist attack with vigil (w/gallery)

ADRIAN MACNAIR SURREY NOW NORTH SURREY — Hundreds gathered in the drizzling rain at Holland Park Wednesday night to light candles and mourn the murder of…
Continue Reading »

Sikhs to quit Trudeau's Liberals

Sikhs ‘across Canada’ to jump Trudeau ship

Nominations issue: ‘We are not Liberals, that’s for sure,’ says general secretary of Vancouver temple LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI A large group of Sikhs in…
Continue Reading »

TK

Vancouver accountant pins hopes on civil action against newspaper publisher he says attacked him

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI A Vancouver accountant is upset that a prominent South Asian newspaper publisher he accused of attacking him won’t go to trial….
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

MTV Roadies a way of life for youth

‘MTV Roadies’ now lifestyle for youth, says Rannvijay Singh

IANS Kolkata – Popular video jockey-turned-actor Rannvijay Singh Thursday spoke about the originality of reality TV show “MTV Roadies”, and said the series has become…
Continue Reading »

TALIBAN ATTACK

Pakistani Taliban school attack: ‘I’ll never forget the boots approaching me… I felt death was approaching me’

ASHFAQ YUSUFZAI, HARRIET ALEXANDER And RICHARD SPENCER THE DAILY TELEGRAPH PESHAWAR/LONDON — The attack was meticulously planned and, once the Taliban had decided that even…
Continue Reading »

Ageless skin-beauty-anti-ageing

Forever young? UBC researchers may have stumbled upon the secret to youthful skin

Mice without a certain enzyme didn’t appear to age RANDY SHORE POSTMEDIA NEWS Scientists at the University of B.C. searching for ways to slow the…
Continue Reading »

deportation-Canada

No hope for deported Pakistani woman to return to Saskatoon as Ottawa closes case

THE CANADIAN PRESS SASKATOON — The lawyer for a woman deported to Pakistan says there is no hope left that she will be allowed to…
Continue Reading »

Ashiana Complex Delhi

‘I have to hide my face in public, the man who raped me roams free’

HINDUSTAN TIMES They say time flies. But for me it got stuck 10 years ago. I was a victim waiting for justice then and I…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood

Acting blind to beg on Indian streets earned him a mini role in Aamir Khan’s PK

HINDUSTAN TIMES Call it blind luck. Feigning blindness ensured Manoj Roy a few extra coins in his begging bowl. The act was good enough for…
Continue Reading »

Celebs lost in 2014-year in review

Gallery: Celebrities we lost in 2014

VANCOUVER DESI From actors Deven Verma, Zohra Sehgal to Robin Williams and Philip Seymour Hoffman, Hollywood and Bollywood lost some legends this year. We take…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood-Hollywood

Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra signs deal with ABC Television Studios

IANS Mumbai – Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra, who has already made inroads into foreign shores with her music, has signed a one-year TV development deal…
Continue Reading »