Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi on Thursday addressed several diplomatic issues, including the recent Khalistan protests in London and concerns regarding the security of Indian diplomats in Canada, the US, and the UK.
Speaking about the imbalance in diplomatic representation between India and Canada, Bagchi said, “Given the much higher diplomatic presence in India and their continuing interference in our internal affairs, we had sought parity in our respective diplomatic presence.”
While there have been reports about a potential October 10 deadline for reducing diplomatic presence, Bagchi steered clear of confirming any specific date.
London protests and India’s security concerns
The recent Khalistan supporters’ protest outside the Indian High Commission in London took a disturbing turn when the Indian tricolor was set alight. Amidst this, Gurcharan Singh of the Dal Khalsa UK and Paramjit Singh Pamma of the Khalistan Tiger Force stood out with their confrontational acts.
Commenting on these developments, Bagchi said, “We have been addressing concerns about the security of our diplomats… The issue is about security, ensuring that our diplomats can function, and the premises are safe.”
“I don’t want to get into specifics, but in the UK, there was a protest outside the embassy on the 2nd of October. We have certainly taken up the issue of the security of our diplomats with the authorities there,” he added.
China’s alleged influence on NewsClick:
Asked about the possible links and violations concerning American businessman Neville Singham as well as the Newsclick row and arrests, Bagchi said, “If our agencies find that there have been violations of a law by an entity or individuals, they will look into it.”
India and the Maldives bilateral relations
India’s relationship with the Maldives took center, even as Bagchi emphasized India’s commitment to strengthening the bilateral relationship. “Prime Minister (Modi) was the first leader to convey greetings and felicitations to the President-elect. Prime Minister reaffirmed the commitment to strengthening the time-tested India-Maldives bilateral relationship and announced overall cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region,” he said.
“Subsequently, yesterday, our High Commissioner in Male also called on the president. They had discussions on various aspects of our bilateral partnership. He had an opportunity to officially congratulate Male and the people for once again demonstrating their faith in democratic governance and constitutional processes that reflect their firm commitment to the values of democracy and the rule of law,” he added.
He further said that he does not want to comment on media reports.
Developments in Nagorno-Karabakh
Regarding the unfolding situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, Bagchi expressed India’s monitoring approach. “We encourage parties to move forward to ensure long-term peace and security in the region through dialogue and diplomacy,” he said.