A groundbreaking agreement between Canada and India to combat terrorism, one of the purposes of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent visit to India, looks like it might not happen thanks to the backlash against the Prime Minister following the events that happened during the trip.
Framework for the Cooperation on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
Officials in India have been growing concerned that the Framework for the Cooperation on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism is going to be undermined by politicians like Justin Trudeau and that instead of being put into practice it will just remain on paper.
The framework for the agreement was signed three days before Justin Trudeau and his family arrived in India and was formally released about a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finally met on the last day of his trip. The Canadian official who signed the framework, National Security, and Intelligence Officer Daniel Jean, was the same one who held briefings blaming the Indian government for trying to sabotage Trudeau’s visit.
The integrity of India and Canada
Former Indian high commissioner to Ottawa Vishnu Prakash has said, “Everything should henceforth be taken with more than a pinch of salt. The agreement is based on fundamental respect for the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of India and Canada and institutionalized cooperation between the National Security Council Secretariat of the Republic of India and the office of Canada’s National Security and Intelligence Advisor, and regular exchanges and coordination between India and Canada”.
Major Terrorist Organizations
The framework, which equates groups associated with Khalistani terrorism, like International Sikh Youth Federation and Babbar Khalsa International with Lashkar-e-Taiba, Islamic State, al-Qaeda and other major terrorist organizations. This has drawn criticism from the Liberals in Canada and many members of the Sikh community. World Sikh Organization vice-president Bhavinder Kaur released a statement saying, “Indian intelligence bodies continue to be accused of interfering in the affairs of Sikhs in Canada.
While increased trade between Canada and India is beneficial to both countries, it cannot be at the expense of our human rights and principles or by compromising the safety and security of individuals, as may happen with this framework.”