Cameron MacKay, the Canadian high commissioner to India, responded to a question on how the Canadian government is handling Khalistani outfits on Thursday by saying, ‘All faiths are welcome in Canada.’
When MacKay was questioned about the steps the Canadian government had taken to deal with Khalistani organisations, he was in Delhi visiting the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib.
Following reports of pro-Khalistani gangs fighting with Indian residents of Canada on Diwali, he made this remark. One group was observed holding Indian flags, while the other had banners in favour of the Khalistan referendum movement, reported an online news source Insauga.
A demand known as the ‘Khalistani referendum’ aims to get the Sikh populations to agree to split Punjab into its own nation. Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), a pro-Khalistani organisation that was outlawed in India in 2019, organised a polling event on the Khalistani referendum in Canada’s Ontario in September.
India had expressed strong disapproval of the Canadian referendum vote, calling it ‘deeply objectionable’ that extremist elements were permitted to conduct such a ‘politically motivated’ activity in a friendly nation.