Ottawa, September 16
Canada has announced that it would postpone an October trade mission to India, Al Jazeera reported. A spokesperson for Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng confirmed the change on Friday, though no reason was offered for the delay.
The spokesperson, Shanti Cosentino, said: “At this time, we are postponing the upcoming trade mission to India.”This comes at a time when negotiations for a free trade agreement between India and Canada have been stalled, sources informed on Friday.
The sources cited “certain political developments” in Canada as the reason for the pause in the negotiations, and added talks will resume once issues are settled between both the governments.
There were reports earlier that the two countries could reach an interim trade deal by the end of this year.
Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng and her Indian counterpart Piyush Goyal in May issued a joint statement saying they hoped to boost trade and investment between their two countries by the year’s end.
But those talks have hit several high-level snags, as per Al Jazeera.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a pull-aside discussion with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of the G20 Summit raised “strong concerns” about the continuous “anti-India activities” by extremist elements in Canada.
Prime Minister Modi stated that it was essential for the two countries to cooperate in dealing with such threats.
“The Prime Minister conveyed our strong concerns about continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada. They are promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats, damaging diplomatic premises, and threatening the Indian community in Canada and their places of worship,” said an official statement after the Modi-Trudeau meeting.
While Trudeau was in India for the G20 Summit, Khalistani secessionists held a so-called ‘referendum’ in Surrey, British Columbia.The separatists used objectionable language against Indian leadership and made remarks against the territorial integrity of India.
Recently, a Hindu temple was vandalised in Canada by extremist elements with Khalistan referendum posters, Australia Today reported. The incident happened in British Columbia province in Canada.
“#Breaking Another #Hindu temple vandalised in #Canada by #Khalistan extremists – bogus #Khalistanreferendum posters put at door of @surreymandir to create fear among #Indian community,” Australia Today said on Twitter.