Modi meets Trudeau: India, Canada agree upon a framework to combat terrorism

Modi meets Trudeau: India, Canada agree upon a framework to combat terrorism

NEW DELHI, DHNS: India and Canada agreed upon a framework for cooperation to combat terrorism and violent extremism, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau here on Friday.

Though his week-long visit to India came under shadow for his government's reluctance to launch a crackdown on the Khalistani Sikh separatists in the North American nation, Trudeau on Friday joined Modi to endorse the framework for cooperation to fight terrorism and violent extremism.

The framework noted the commitment of the two governments to work together to combat terrorist and extremist outfits, including pro-Khalistani Babbar Khalsa International and International Sikh Youth Federation. They also agreed to deny "operating space" to terrorists and extremists.

"Terrorism and extremism pose threat to democratic and pluralist societies in India and Canada. We must work together to fight such evil forces," Modi said, as he and Trudeau addressed reporters after holding talks in Hyderabad House. "There should not be any space for people who seek to misuse communities for political purposes and sow seeds for secession."

Modi also said that India and Canada should never allow people or entities to challenge the "sovereignty, unity and integrity" of the two nations.

Trudeau, his wife and three children commenced a week-long visit to India on February 17. They visited Agra, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Amritsar before reaching New Delhi on Wednesday.

The visit of the Canadian PM was however overshadowed by perception in New Delhi that his government in Ottawa was not doing enough to address India's concerns over resurgence of Khalistani Sikh radicals in the North American nation.

New Delhi is particularly irked over the ban recently imposed by the management committees of as many as 14 Gurudwaras in Ontario province of Canada on the entry of the officials and official representatives of government of India into the shrines.

What also raised hackles in New Delhi are reports about some sympathisers of Khalistani secessionists in the Sikh community in Canada making their way into higher echelons in the government in Ottawa, including in the cabinet of Trudeau.

Trudeau's visit got embroiled in another controversy on Thursday after it was revealed that a convicted Khalistani assassin Jaspal Atwal was invited to a dinner hosted by Ottawa's envoy to New Delhi, Nadir Patel, in honour of the visiting Prime Minister and his family.

The furore in both New Delhi and Ottawa prompted Patel to rescind the invitation to Atwal, who had been convicted of making an attempt to kill Punjab's former planning minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu during his visit to Vancouver Island in Canada in 1986.

Modi's National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval, and Trudeau's National Security and Intelligence Advisor, Daniel Jean, on Friday worked out the counter-terrorism cooperation framework, which is aimed at facilitating effective cooperation between law enforcement and security agencies and legal and policy practitioners.

They underscored in the framework document the urgency to disrupt recruitment, terrorist movements and the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, address the threat posed by cross-border and state-sponsored terrorism, stop sources of terrorist financing, dismantle terrorist infrastructure and prevent supply of arms to terrorists and counter violent extremism and radicalization to violence.

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