Canada MP Alleges Criticism From Sikh Community Over India Stance
Canada’s Conservative Party MP Deepak Obhrai has been advocating for a positive Indo-Canada relationship.
An Indian-origin MP of Canada’s Conservative Party has said that he has come under attack by Sikh individuals “in reference to his stance on the unity of India and on the term genocide,” the Times of India reported.
The comment by Deepak Obhrai came on March 4, a day after the Conservative Party stopped its motion on “Khalistani extremism.” Obhrai has been advocating for a strong relationship with India, which the Khalistan supporters in the Sikh community in Canada have been said to be opposed to.
— Hon Deepak Obhrai PC (@deepakobhrai) February 28, 2018
In a recent social media post, Obhrai said that a strong relationship with India is in the best interest of Canada, the Times of India reported.
In a post on Facebook, which has now been removed, he reportedly said: “It is very important to respect the difference of opinions and not go for personal attacks. I have been a strong supporter of the Sikh community and have always advocated for their success….My electoral success has been based on the support from all communities, including the Sikh community…I point to the case of Harcharan S Parhar who lives outside my riding, who came to my office seeking help to get an Indian visa, which I facilitated.”
“As such, any person who attacks me on this issue of being anti-Sikh can expect legal action for defamation,” he added.
Obhrai has been criticized for the support he has shown towards a positive relationship with India. The Canadian Sikh Association (CSA) expressed its displeasure about the motion tabled by the Conservative Party that denounced “Khalistani extremism.”
The group further added, “The outpouring support from the community has been overwhelming. Thank you! We will continue to confront head on all entities foreign and domestic who have nothing better to do then to tarnish Canadian Sikhs reputation in our beautiful country. #WeAreNotTerrorists.”
The organization wants an apology from the Conservative Party for having dubbed them as “terrorists.”
According to Times of India, the motion, which was put on hold, said, “That the House: (a) values the contributions of Canadian Sikhs and Canadians of Indian origin in our national life; (b) Condemn in the strongest terms all forms of terrorism, including Khalistani extremism and the glorification of any individuals who have committed acts of violence to advance the cause of an independent Khalistani state in India; and (c) Stand with a united India.”
Conservative Party politician Erin O’Toole said that they decided to put the motion on hold since “the story was still evolving,” according to National Post. “We haven’t pulled it. We’re looking at the right time to do it,” O’Toole said.
“The motion was being misrepresented by a lot of people and certainly became very political. We want to make sure that no one is offended in the process, and the language will be very careful to make sure of that,” he added.
The motion comes after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s trip to India, which was fraught with controversies, such as the inclusion of an attempted murderer of an Indian politician in Canada in the list of invitees to an official dinner.