Rishi Sunak, In India For G20, Says This On Khalistani Threats

Mr Sunak also praised India’s presidency of the G20, declaring it to be “the right country at the right time” to be hosting the summit.

The United Kingdom is “working closely with India to tackle Khalistani extremism”, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Friday evening, shortly after landing in Delhi to take part in the G20 Summit – a meeting of one of the world’s most influential power blocs. Mr Sunak stressed that the UK would not accept any form of violence, and that the two countries are collaborating to end this threat.

“This (the Khalistani issue) is a really important question… let me just say, unequivocally, no form of extremism or violence like that is acceptable in the UK. And that is why we are working very closely with the Indian government to tackle ‘PKE’ (pro-Khalistan extremism),” the UK leader said.

“Our Security Minister was recently in India… we have groups working together to share intelligence so we can root out this kind of violent extremism. It’s not right and I won’t tolerate it in the UK.”

The UK minister, Tom Tugendhat, was in Delhi last month and vowed to ensure the security of Indian diplomatic staff in London. He said the British government is aware of India’s concerns and stressed that “any attempt to radicalise people in the UK will be dealt with by the authorities”.

“Let me be very clear about this. This is not an Indian problem in the UK. Whenever there is radicalisation in the UK of UK citizens, this is a British problem. And so any attempt to radicalise any UK citizen in any direction will be dealt with by the British government,” he had said.

Khalistani Attacks On India In UK

In March, pro-Khalistan elements shouting separatist slogans attacked the Indian High Commission in London and pulled down the national flag from a pole in front of the building. This was a day after police in Punjab launched an intensive manhunt for radical preacher Amritpal Singh.

The attack was decried by the UK’s Business and Trade Minister as a “disgrace”.

India-UK FTA

Last month it was reported India and the UK are in the “final stages” of talks. Today, Mr Sunak said “Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi and I are keen to see the comprehensive and ambitious trade deal concluded…”, but cautioned “trade deals always take time… they need to work for both countries”.

On the topic of India-UK ties, he spoke about areas of co-operation, including technology, telling ANI, “… excited about increasing collaboration between our incredible researchers, scientific community, universities. The UK and India are two of the leading technology superpowers… if we work together we can create jobs, create new businesses, and help solve some of the world’s pressing problems.”

Sunak On G20 And India

Ahead of the G20 Summit, Mr Sunak spoke to news agency ANI on a range of issues, including the India-UK Free Trade Agreement and the Indian roots of his family, of which much has been made since he was voted to power in October last year. He also declared himself “a proud Hindu”.

Mr Sunak praised India’s presidency of the G20, declaring it to be “the right country at the right time” to be hosting the summit. “The G20 has been a huge success for India… (I) feel we will have a very good couple of days of deliberations and decisions…” he told ANI.

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