Canada has stopped India’s trade mission. There were to be talks regarding a bilateral free trade agreement between the two countries. But Reuters reports that an official has said Canadian Trade Minister Marie has postponed a trade mission to India scheduled for October. This development has happened when there were reports of rift between the top leaders of the two countries on the sidelines of the G20 summit in New Delhi recently. There were reports that Prime Minister Modi had expressed strong objection to Canadian PM Justin Trudeau regarding anti-India activities in Canada. There are also reports that Prime Minister Modi could not even give proper time to meet the Canadian PM and due to these reasons diplomatic relations deteriorated.
It is reported that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who held formal bilateral meetings with many world leaders during the G20 summit, ignored Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and held only a small informal meeting. However, PM Modi had tweeted that he had a complete discussion regarding India-Canada relations.
Relations between the two countries are tense over the activities of pro-Khalistan groups in Canada. In July, India had summoned the Canadian envoy, days after posters bearing the names of senior Indian diplomats posted there surfaced in some areas of Canada.
Canada has the largest population of Sikhs outside Punjab, India, and the country has been the site of several anti-India protests. Following the meeting between Modi and Trudeau on the sidelines of the G20 summit on September 10, India issued a strongly worded statement, ‘PM Modi expressed our strong concerns about the continuation of anti-India activities by extremist elements in Canada. Make aware. They are promoting separatism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats, damaging diplomatic premises, and threatening the Indian community and their places of worship in Canada.
That statement also said, ‘The nexus of such forces with organized crime, drug syndicates and human trafficking should also be a matter of concern for Canada. It is necessary for both the countries to cooperate in dealing with such threats.
Asked about India’s concerns, Trudeau had said at a press conference, ‘Canada will always protect the freedom of expression, the freedom of peaceful protest, and that’s extremely important to us… At the same time, we will always protect the freedom of expression, the freedom of peaceful protest. Ready to stop and end hatred. “I think it’s important to remember that the actions of a few individuals do not represent the entire community or Canada.”
However, India said on Friday that it has stopped trade talks with Canada. Canada made a similar announcement earlier this month, saying such a pause was needed. Let us tell you that before the start of the G20 summit, some parts of the Canadian media had reported that Ottawa had demanded a pause in trade talks.
According to the Indian Express report, in March 2022, both countries had agreed to restart CEPA talks and consider an interim agreement or Early Progress Trade Agreement i.e. EPTA. Both could get commercial benefits from this. Negotiations on CEPA-EPTA were to resume in April 2022. Nine rounds of talks took place till July this year.