India, Canada Vow to Fight Extremism With Modi’s Trademark Bear Hug With Trudeau
REUTERS/ Adnan AbidiAsia & Pacific20:03 23.02.2018(updated 20:09 23.02.2018) Get short URL
The Indian Prime Minister took the opportunity of his joint press conference with the Canadian Prime Minister to strongly put across the point that New Delhi would not be tolerating any move aimed at challenging India’s territorial integrity.
New Delhi (Sputnik): A seven day trip, mired in controversy, of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to India, has finally ended with an all-important trademark bear hug of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday. Following the bilateral talks, the two leaders have vowed to fight terrorism and any kind of violent extremism. Discussing the possibility of expanding trade links, Trudeau described India as “a natural partner and a trusted friend for commercial cooperation.”
Reciprocating the enthusiasm showed by the visiting Canadian Prime Minister who visited a temple, mosque, and Gurudwara in the last six days in several parts of India, Indian Prime Minister Modi too underscored the links between the two countries.
“India has attached a high importance to pursuing its strategic partnership with Canada. Our ties are based on democracy, pluralism, the supremacy of law and the mutual interaction,” Modi said during a joint press conference.
“Terrorism is a threat to countries like ours and to fight these elements it is important for us to come together,” Modi added.
READ MORE: Convicted Terrorist Spotted With Trudeau’s Wife, India to Launch Probe
The Canadian Prime Minister’s visit to India has been attracting bad press ever since he landed in New Delhi six days ago. First, the Indian media drew the public’s attention to the unenthusiastic welcome Trudeau was accorded by the Indian Prime Minister who did not meet him once in the first five days of his visit. Second, a photograph of Trudeau’s wife with a designated terrorist stirred a huge controversy with the Indian government announcing a probe into the matter.
On Thursday, it was revealed that a militant Sikh separatist convicted of attempting to murder an Indian politician in Canada had been invited to dine with Trudeau at the Canadian High Commissioner’s residence in New Delhi. However, following the controversy, the official invitation was rescinded.
The photo generating the controversy was that of Jaspal Atwal, one among the Sikh separatist leaders, many of whom are now settled in Canada. They have been waging a movement from within India and abroad demanding a separate nation for the Sikh community. During the joint press conference, Modi did not make any explicit reference to the Khalistan movement but made it clear that India would not tolerate any complicity.
“There should be no space for those who seek to divide communities and promote separatism. We will not tolerate those who challenge unity and integrity of our countries,” Indian Prime Minister added.
READ MORE: ‘Slavery’ Slur on Canada Temple: Indian Activists Demand Gov’t Intervention
Apart from extremism issues, the two leaders agreed to expand the ongoing mutually-beneficial civil nuclear cooperation by developing collaboration in nuclear science and technology. In the defense sector, both the countries have agreed to explore the possibilities of cooperation in diverse fields including cold climate training, enhancing naval interactions, and staff exchanges.