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Canada on a suicidal course: Giving a free run to South Asian separatists and terrorists could boomerang

The Canadian government is doing a very big mistake by thinking that such separatists and terrorist groups operating in Canada will not harm Canada but only other countries.

N S Venkataraman Oct 13, 2022
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Pro-Khalistan elements in Canada (Photo: Twitter)

It is well recognized all over the world that Canada is a glorious country with vast and beautiful landscapes, considerable natural and mineral resources, and many attractive tourist spots. Given these reasons, Canada remains a prosperous country though underpopulated.

In such favourable circumstances, the practice of welcoming migrants and refugees from various countries to Canada is adopted as a  policy measure by the government of Canada, not only to bolster its population level but also to reflect its humane approach.  Today, people from several countries including Europe, Asia and Africa have migrated to Canada and settled down as full-fledged citizens,  enjoying liberty,   rights and privileges that the Canadian government liberally provides to its citizens.

However, there also seems to be a negative angle to such liberal policy towards migrants and refugees,  as the demographic structure of Canada is getting disturbed and a sort of sectarian outlook appears to be developing between different groups with varying backgrounds, which may create friction in the coming years. Even now, there is evidence of such friction happening. So far, it appears that the government of Canada has not looked into a such possible scenario with the seriousness and care that they deserve.

Such developments have taken place in Western Europe also in recent times when thousands of refugees/migrants from Syria and other Islamic countries were permitted to enter Europe on humanitarian grounds.  These migrants /refugees are unable to get integrated into the general population, as they lack the skill or sufficient education and have different religious practices. Such a situation has resulted in an increased level of crimes and violence and shootings in European countries in recent times and there is huge concern about such a situation. 

Separatists getting entrenched

Recently, some Hindu temples were attacked in the UK by those belonging to the Islam religion and many people wonder whether this would be the state of things to come in Europe in the coming years. Governments in Europe seem to be at a loss not knowing how to tackle this difficult situation, which is causing social tension and violence in public life.

In Canada, one serious development is that separatists and terrorist elements who manage to get entry into Canada as migrants - however small in number they may be in the total population -  are getting politically and socially entrenched in Canada. It appears that the Canadian government ignored such elements so far since separatism and terrorism are not targeted or aimed at Canada but at other countries, particularly in South Asia. Such developments are now causing anxiety and huge concern to affected countries such as India and Sri Lanka.

LTTE, a Tamil separatist and extremist group with the declared objective of splitting Sri Lanka by force, has largely operated from Canadian soil.  While this is causing a serious problem for Sri Lanka, the Canadian government has allowed them to operate in Canada and not bothered about the concerns of the Sri Lankan government.

In an almost similar way, the Khalistani movement is operating in Canada with the declared objective of forming a separate Sikh State in India. In spite of India’s appeals, the Canadian government has not checked the activities and growth of the Khalistan separatist movement in Canada.

Misguided policy

The Canadian government is doing a very big mistake by thinking that such separatists and terrorist groups operating in Canada will not harm Canada but only other countries.

But recent experience shows that stabbings in Canada have become quite frequent.  Entrenched separatist groups have started attacking innocent people who may belong to India or other countries. against which the separatist groups are operating.  Very recently, a series of stabbings at an indigenous community in a town near  Saskatchewan has left ten people dead and fifteen wounded.  In 2020,  a man disguised as a police officer shot people in their homes and set fire across the province of Nova Scotia killing 22 people. In 2019, a man used a van to kill ten pedestrians in Toronto.  Recently, a few Indian students were killed and Hindu religious centres attacked.

The situation in Canada has caused so much of concern to India that it has advised students and visitors from India to be careful in safeguarding themselves in public places against violent acts by some terror groups.

Tolerating terrorists and separatists in the name of personal liberty and freedom on Canadian soil will become a suicidal path for Canada if such a policy is not scrapped. The terrorists will not only cause problems elsewhere, but will also convert Canadian soil into a hotbed of terrorism if the Canadian government were to fail to understand the gravity of the situation and take necessary measures to control the separatist/terrorist groups operating freely in the country.

(The writer is a Trustee, NGO Nandini Voice for the Deprived, Chennai and a policy commentator. Views are personal. He can be contacted at nsvenkatchennai@gmail.com)

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