In a resolute declaration, United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has emphatically addressed concerns surrounding the surge in pro-Khalistan extremism within the UK. Sunak underscored the robust readiness of British law enforcement agencies to swiftly and effectively respond to any potential violence stemming from extremist activities.
In an exclusive statement to news agency PTI, Sunak articulated the government’s solemn responsibility to combat all forms of violent and divisive ideologies, irrespective of their origin. His statements come as a prelude to his impending visit to India to participate in the G20 summit.
Sunak avowed the close collaboration between the United Kingdom and the Indian government in their joint efforts to confront the menace of pro-Khalistan extremism. He asserted unequivocally that the UK government vehemently opposes all manifestations of extremism within its borders, emphasizing that the right to peaceful protest does not extend to violent or menacing behavior.
“No form of extremism is acceptable in the UK, and I take the duty of the government to disrupt and counter violent, divisive ideologies, whatever they may be, very seriously,” Sunak affirmed in response to PTI’s inquiries.
Furthermore, Sunak referenced a recent meeting between the UK’s Security Minister Tom Tugendhat and India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. The focus of this meeting was to devise strategies to address the twin challenges of extremism and corruption. Sunak unveiled a substantial ₹1 crore investment designed to bolster the UK’s capabilities in tackling pro-Khalistan extremism, thereby strengthening the ongoing collaborative efforts between the UK and India.
While underscoring the importance of citizens’ rights to lawful assembly and expression of viewpoints, the British Prime Minister reiterated that these rights should not be exploited for violent or menacing purposes.
The backdrop to these discussions is the perception in Delhi that the Khalistani issue has been a stumbling block in the deepening of India-UK ties. Notably, in March, tensions flared when pro-Khalistan elements attacked the Indian High Commission in London and desecrated the national flag.
The India-UK relationship was elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership during the India-UK virtual summit in May 2021, setting the stage for enhanced cooperation in trade, defense, climate change, and other critical domains.
As both nations navigate the complex terrain of extremism, the international community watches closely to see how their collaborative efforts unfold in the face of this shared challenge.