Indian Punjab part of India, says UK about Khalistan referendum
The statement came days after Canada dismissed any support for the Khalistani separatism
The British government has denied any involvement with the so-called referendum by the Khalistani extremist group Sikhs for Justice (SFS). The government further said that it considers Indian Punjab a part of India, said a WION report.
The British government has said this was a matter for the government and people of India, not foreign countries or overseas organizations. “While we support the right of anyone to voice their opinion, the UK government is not involved in any way with this unofficial and non-binding referendum,” a British High Commission spokesperson was quoted as saying in the report.
He added that the British government considers the Indian Punjab to be a part of India.
The so-called referendum demands the formation of an “Independent country” in India’s Punjab and found support in Pakistan. The referendum posters were seen at important Sikh Gurudwaras, said the report.
A few days ago, Canada also dismissed any support for Khalistani separatism.
"Government of Canada will not recognize the referendum,” the Canadian foreign ministry was quoted as saying in the WION report.
The Canadian foreign ministry conveyed that Canada-India bilateral relationship is a priority for the government of Canada; the report quoted the ministry.
The remarks were welcomed by India. Indian envoy to Canada Ajay Bisaria said, "Canada continues to show sensitivity to Indian security concerns,” as quoted in the WION report.
New Delhi will "continue to engage closely with Canadian interlocutors, including security agencies, on a range of bilateral security issues,” he added.