Watch | Jaishankar responds to WION on Canadian NSA’s ‘foreign interference’ remark

India’s foreign minister Dr S Jaishankar responded to remarks made by Canada’s National Security Advisor (NSA) that said India interferes in Ottawa’s affairs through “state actors and non-state proxies”. 

Responding to a question by WION related to the remark by Canadian NSA Jody Thomas, Jaishankar said: “The phrase that comes to my mind is, ‘ooltah chor kotwal ko daantey’ [the pot calling the kettle black]. It’s we who had a complaint with them,” he said while referring to Ottawa’s inaction on anti-India secessionist forces that call for an independent Khalistan. 

“I was quite perplexed when I heard it,” Jaishankar said on Thursday while referring to the comment made by Jody Thomas.

Referring to the incident in Canada’s Brampton where a float showing the assassination of former prime minister Indira Gandhi was paraded, Jaishankar said: “Frankly, we are at a loss to understand other than the requirements of vote bank politics why anybody would do this. I think there is a larger underlying issue about the space which is given to separatists, extremists, to people who advocate violence. I think it is not good for relationships, not good for Canada.”

What did Canada’s NSA Jody Thomas say?

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s NSA Jody Thomas on Friday said, “When I talk about foreign interference and economic security, I’m now talking about a number of state actors and non-state proxies.”

“This includes Russia, Iran, India. That said, the actor that comes up most on these issues, and it’s no surprise to anybody, is China,” she added.

What else did Jaishankar say?

While addressing a press conference to mark nine years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s arrival in New Delhi’s corridors of power, Jaishankar specifically addressed the Modi government’s foreign policy.

Jaishankar said there has been strategic clarity and the second image of India is that of an economic collaborator.

“The world, especially the Global South, perceives India as a development partner – as a credible, effective development partner with delivery on the ground,” he said.

“…A large part of the world sees us as a development partner, not just as a development partner but a development partner who lives up to what PM enunciated…Today, the second image of India is that of an economic collaborator,” he added.

Jaishankar said there is a very conscious drive for technology upgrade which is opening opportunities for the youth.

Also watch | WION Fineprint | Trudeau concerned over Chinese interference in Canada

“In terms of global technological capabilities, there are more collaborations globally,” he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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