Sukhbir Singh Badal meets Amit Shah; says Punjabis in panic over worsening India-Canada ties

NEW DELHI: Amid strains in India-Canada ties, Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday met Home Minister Amit Shah and hoped for a quick resolution to disputes between the two countries, noting that Punjabis in large numbers live there and the deteriorating relations have left them in a state of panic.

Badal told reporters after the meeting that it is very disturbing to hear of the woes of Punjabis, including a large number of Sikhs, because of the worsening relations between the two countries.

"There is a sense of panic in India. Both governments, India's as well as Canada's, should find a solution as soon as possible," he said.

With India repeatedly conveying its concerns to Canada over Khalistani activities on its soil, Badal said Sikhs have been the most patriotic people who made maximum sacrifices during the independence struggle. The community should not be blamed for what a few persons do, he said.

The issues involving the two countries should be settled rather than escalated, he said. There are over 18 lakh Indians in Canada and a large number of them are Punjabis, he noted.

India on Thursday "suspended till further notice" its visa services in Canada. The move comes amid the escalating diplomatic row that erupted following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegations of a "potential" involvement of Indian agents in the killing of a Khalistani separatist in June. India has rejected the charge as absurd. The India-Canada ties have been on a downward spiral in view of increasing activities of the pro-Khalistani elements in the North American country. India believes the Trudeau government is not addressing its genuine concerns.


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