Sun, 25 Aug 2019

New Delhi [India], July 16 (ANI): An expert on counter-terrorism has alleged that Canada and the United Kingdom have remained safe havens for Khalistani terrorists for the past many decades and that the governments of the two countries are providing patronage to them.

Ajay Sahni, the Executive Director of New Delhi-based Institute for Conflict Management, said that both London and Ottawa have been very lenient with the people who are trying to subvert peace and harmony in India.

"Canada and the UK are not some of the new headquarters for Khalistani terrorists. They have been safe havens for Khalistanis for decades," said Sahni. "You'll recall that Kanishka bombing was mounted from Canada and not only was it mounted from Canada but most of the people involved in the bombings went completely unpunished. Only one person was given a very lenient sentence and didn't even serve the complete sentence.""The other conspirators were brought to court and there was such a terrible investigation that it is almost laughable that it should be called an investigation. Now, when you have failures of this nature, it becomes very clear that the state itself is either supporting or is allowing such groups to function with freedom and when you allow groups like these to function with freedom then obviously these groups entrench themselves more and more and that is what has happened in both Canada and the UK," he added.

A 2018 report on terrorism had listed Sikh extremism as one of the five terror threats to Canada. The report listed two groups -- Babbar Khalsa International and International Sikh Youth Federation -- as terrorist organisations.

However, a year later, the Justin Trudeau government removed the reference to Sikh extremism from its "2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada" after it attracted sharp criticism from various quarters including pro-Khalistani groups.

Sahni also accused Canada of being apathetic to the pain and suffering of those who remained a victim of terrorism.

While appeasing a section of society for a handful of votes has become a norm in politics across the globe, politicians in Canada have seemingly crossed all morality by providing a political roof to the secessionists.

"The Sikh diaspora is seen as a vote bank by certain political parties, including the current ruling party in Canada. So, in order to harness this vote bank, a lot of concessions are given to extremists who are thought to represent the entire Sikh community which is not the case. But what happens is that through intimidation, aggression, and stridency, these groups achieve far more prominence than is actually representative of their base." added Sahni.

Justin Trudeau, the incumbent Prime Minister of Canada has often been seen socializing with the Sikh extremists. Earlier, in 2017, he had participated in a Khalistani event in Toronto in which separatist elements were felicitated.

Justin Trudeau administration had also removed all reference of Khalistan from its annual report on the terrorist threat, evidently to appease the minority. (ANI)

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