Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has once again issued a stern warning on the increasing activities of Khalistani supporters in Britain. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Wednesday that any form of extremism is not acceptable. He said that the right to protest legally cannot turn into violent or threatening behaviour. In an exclusive interview to PTI, Sunak said that he takes very seriously the duty of the government to contain and combat violent, divisive ideologies, whatever their forms. He said the UK is working closely with its partners in the Government of India to tackle the threat of pro-Khalistan extremism.
Concerns have grown in India about the activities of pro-Khalistani elements in Britain, especially after the attack on the Indian High Commission in London in March. These statements of Sunak come a few days before his visit to India to attend the G20 conference. “Extremism of any kind is not acceptable in the UK and I take very seriously the government’s duty to contain and combat violent, divisive ideologies, whatever they may be,” he said.
Sunak said, “We are working closely with our partners in the Government of India to tackle the threat of pro-Khalistan extremism and the UK police are fully capable of tackling violent activities. There is a perception in Delhi that the issue of Khalistan is creating a barrier to closer ties between India and the UK. Sunak also referred to the meeting between UK Security Secretary Tom Tugendhat and Foreign Minister S Jaishankar last month which focused on tackling the menace of extremism and corruption.
The British Prime Minister said, “In August, the British Security Secretary met with Foreign Minister Jaishankar in New Delhi regarding our joint work to tackle the threat of extremism and corruption.” Sunak said, “That During the visit, he announced new funding to expand Britain’s capacity to deal with pro-Khalistan extremism. The investment of Rs 1 crore will strengthen our understanding of the threat posed by pro-Khalistan extremism and will complement the joint work already underway between the UK and India,” he said. There is a right to assemble and express one’s views, but the right to lawful protest cannot extend to violent or threatening behaviour.”
In March, India reacted angrily to the attack by pro-Khalistan elements on the Indian High Commission in London. The India-UK partnership was upgraded to a Comprehensive Strategic Partner during the India-UK Virtual Summit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his then UK counterpart Boris Johnson in May 2021. At that summit, the two sides adopted a 10-year roadmap for expanding ties in key areas including trade and economy, defense and security, climate change and people-to-people contacts, among others.