India today made a profound statement by expelling a high-ranking Canadian diplomat, pinpointing interference in its internal matters as the cause. This decision by the Ministry of External Affairs is steeped in layers of historical and contemporary significance, especially when seen in the context of India’s tenacious stance against terrorism, including threats emanating from Khalistan-aligned factions.
The roots of concerns surrounding Khalistan-linked extremism run deep in India’s modern history. The darkest chapter perhaps being the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards, retaliating against the controversial Operation Blue Star at the Golden Temple in Amritsar earlier that year. This assassination shook the very core of the nation and led to widespread unrest.
Further punctuating Khalistan extremists’ influence on India’s historical narrative is the tragic incident of an airplane hijacking. In 1981, pro-Khalistan activists hijacked an Indian Airlines plane en route to Srinagar, seeking the release of their leader. These incidents, among others, underscore the lethal extents to which extremist elements have gone, challenging India’s internal security and peace.
Today’s directive to the Canadian diplomat serves as more than just a response to immediate concerns. It’s a testament to India’s determination in safeguarding its domestic tranquility and upholding its sovereignty. The emphasis remains clear: external influences that may in any way fan the flames of extremist sentiments are unacceptable. Invoking further clarity on India’s position, Canada’s High Commissioner to India, Cameron MacKay, was summoned to the South Block in New Delhi. The discourse brought to the fore India’s apprehensions regarding possible Canadian diplomatic alignments with anti-India activities.
India’s commitment to counter-terrorism, as well as its assertiveness in thwarting Khalistan-supported threats, shines through its recent diplomatic decisions. Such endeavors emphasize the nation’s larger strategy: a zero-tolerance policy toward entities or individuals that pose challenges to its national security. The nation’s move to expel the diplomat isn’t an isolated incident but rather a reflection of its broader, historically rooted stance against terrorism. As India and Canada navigate this challenging diplomatic landscape, the principles of mutual respect and a shared commitment to global peace will be paramount.