“Canada Doesn’t Recognize Khalistan Referendum”
CHANDIGARH, (IANS) – Canada does not recognize the recent unofficial Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) referendum to express support for a separate Sikh nation-state, Consul General of Canada in Chandigarh Patrick Hebert remarked on Sept 30.
On tackling Indian-origin gangsters in Canada linked to extreme levels of violence, he told IANS in an exclusive interview here that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has a close relationship with several agencies in India and will continue to work with them to ensure that criminals are not able to act with impunity.
On Canada’s stand on SJF campaigns for an independence referendum to carve out a separate Khalistan state, Hebert replied firmly: “Canada has made clear, on a number of occasions, that we respect the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of India. Canada does not recognize the recent unofficial Sikhs for Justice referendum.”
The US-based SFJ, a pro-Khalistan group, was banned by the Indian government in 2019 for its alleged anti-national activities. Gurpatwant Singh Pannun is the legal adviser of the group.
India last week took strong objection to Canada allowing a “Khalistan referendum” to take place in Brampton while calling it a farcical exercise held by extremists and radical elements.
On Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann seeking support from Canadian High Commissioner Cameron Mackay for nabbing the gangsters operating from Canadian soil, the Consul General, said the RCMP has a close relationship with several agencies in India and will continue to work with them to ensure that criminals are not able to act with impunity, whether in Canada or India.