India Suspends FTA Talks with Canada Amid Concerns of Subversive Activities

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September 20, 2023

India Suspends FTA Talks with Canada Amid Concerns of Subversive Activities

Canada indefinitely postpones trade mission to India amid tensions | World  News - Hindustan Times

  • India has taken a decisive step by suspending free-trade negotiations with Canada, citing concerns over Ottawa’s alleged support for subversive elements engaged in anti-India activities within Canadian borders.
  • This move underscores India’s commitment to safeguarding its national interests and ensuring that trade discussions remain contingent upon addressing these critical security issues.
  • The decision to halt the talks emerged following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s direct communication with his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau, during the G20 Summit.
  • Prime Minister Modi expressed serious apprehensions about elements in Canada that were reportedly advocating secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats, and sought immediate action to address these concerns.
The Stance of Indian Officials
  • According to reliable sources, Indian officials have emphasized that New Delhi will not engage in trade negotiations with any nation that harbors elements fostering subversive activities against India or its citizens.
  • They further disclosed that specific political developments in Canada have led to the suspension of negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) until the matter is satisfactorily resolved.
Implications on Trade Talks
  • India was in the process of negotiating an interim Indo-Canada Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA), which was envisioned to culminate into a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) or a comprehensive FTA.
  • Since the relaunch of FTA negotiations in March 2022, nine rounds of talks had already taken place until July of the current year.
New India’s Stance
  • A spokesperson for India emphasized that the nation, as a vibrant democracy with a robust economy and strong leadership, made its position unequivocally clear at the G20 Leaders’ Summit.
  • India firmly conveyed that trade discussions and any form of extremism are mutually exclusive.
Prime Minister Modi’s Assertive Diplomacy
  • During the G20 summit, Prime Minister Modi unambiguously conveyed New Delhi’s profound concerns about the continued anti-India activities by extremist elements in Canada.
  • He pointed out instances of promoting secessionism, violence against Indian diplomats, and threats to the Indian community and their places of worship.
  • Additionally, the statement highlighted the potential nexus of these forces with organized crime, drug syndicates, and human trafficking, urging Canada to address these issues.
  • India’s decision to suspend FTA talks with Canada underscores its commitment to safeguarding its national interests and security concerns.
  • The move sends a clear message that trade negotiations cannot proceed in the presence of activities that threaten India’s integrity and its citizens.
  • The ball is now in Canada’s court to address these critical issues and pave the way for a resumption of meaningful trade discussions.

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India Suspends FTA Talks with Canada Amid Concerns of Subversive Activities | Vaid ICS Institute