EAM Jaishankar: Indian diplomats in Canada during the Nijjar fiasco felt “threatened” and “intimidated.”

S. Jaishankar, the minister of external affairs, reaffirmed India’s demand that perpetrators behind assaults on Indian diplomatic posts and intimidation of Indian diplomats abroad—in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States—be held accountable.

Speaking at a TV9 Network-sponsored event, Jaishankar emphasised the need of taking responsibility for situations that affect Indian diplomatic personnel and embassies. According to him, India anticipates taking legal action against the attackers.

Attacks against India’s diplomatic facilities, notably the high commission in London and the consulate in San Francisco, occurred last year. Pro-Khalistani extremists tried to set fire to the Indian embassy in San Francisco in July, and in March they threatened the Indian high commission in London.

“We expect the culprits in the attack in our consulate in San Francisco to be brought to book, we expect action against people who stormed into our high commission in London and we expect action against people who threatened our diplomats (in Canada),” said Mr. Jaishankar.

Furthermore, harassment and threats against Indian ambassadors occurred in Canada, which resulted in the temporary suspension of issuing visas to people of that country. Recalling the seriousness of the situation, Jaishankar said that diplomats’ security was at risk and that measures were thus required to protect them.

We came to a point where, in my capacity as a minister, I could no longer take the chance of exposing the ambassadors to the type of violence that was evidently common in Canada at the time. It has been fixed in that particular area. Our visa procedures are essentially routine as of right now,” he said.

The minister of foreign affairs expressed India’s strong opposition to separatist and anti-Indian actions, highlighting worries about the space these groups are given in Canada. He said that intimidation of diplomats cannot be justified in the name of free speech and denounced the use of that right to promote violence and secession.

“Intimidating ambassadors while they are doing their duties is not within the bounds of free speech. “This is misuse of the right to free speech; throwing smoke bombs at embassy and consulates and encouraging violence and separatism against a friendly state are not examples of free speech,” the speaker said.

Jaishankar further emphasized the need of the receiving governments looking into and prosecuting those responsible for assaults on Indian embassies and consulates. He emphasized that the prestige of the participating nations is damaged when such occurrences go unaddressed.

Although he acknowledged that the US, UK, and Australia have improved their responses, Jaishankar emphasized the necessity for regular and strong actions to safeguard diplomatic posts and staff throughout the globe.