G20 Summit: UK PM Rishi Sunak speaks on Khalistan issue says 'won't tolerate it in the UK'
G20 Summit: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak touched various aspects of India-UK bilateral relationship and also spoke on the sensitive issues like Khalistani protests
G20 Summit: UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murthy arrived in New Delhi for the G20 Summit. After landing in New Delhi, Rishi Sunak took to Twitter and said that he is “meeting world leaders to address some of the challenges that impact every one of us." Prime Minister Narendra Modi responded to his tweet and welcomed him to India.
After settling down, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had a detailed conversation with news agency ANI where he touched various aspects of India-UK bilateral relationship and also spoke on the sensitive issues like Khalistani protests and problems faced by Indian diaspora in UK.
Rishi Sunak mentioned the good equation he shares with PM Modi and said "I have enormous respect for Modi Ji, and he's been personally very warm and kind to me. And we're working very hard, as I said, on our shared ambition of concluding an ambitious and comprehensive trade deal between India and the UK, because both of us think that would be a good thing and both of us need to make sure it works for our two countries. And at forums like this, I'm very keen to support Prime Minister Modi in making sure that this G20 is an enormous success for India, which I know it will be...".
The British Prime Minister spoke on the UK-India Free Trade Agreement and said both countries are hoping to conclude a mutually beneficial deal. "I think the bilateral relationship is in good health and Prime Minister Modi and I are keen to deepen and broaden our relationship. The FTA is an obvious way for us to do that, which is why it remains our priority. And I said hard work to go, but I hope we can conclude a successful FTA. I think we can strengthen our security relationship as well. That's something that I've spoken to the Prime Minister about. And then something I'm particularly excited about is increasing the collaboration between our incredible researchers, our scientific community, our universities. The UK and India are two of the leading science technology superpowers of the world. And I think if we work more closely together, we can create jobs, create new businesses, and help solve some of the world's most pressing problems," Rishi Sunak said.
Rishi Sunak also shared his views on the Russia-Ukraine war and said, "Well, it's not for me to tell India what positions to take on international issues, but I know India rightly cares about the international rule of law, the UN Charter and respect for territorial integrity. I think those are things that are universal values that we all share. Those are things that I believe, and India, I know, believes in those things too."
He refused to make any remarks on India's position on Russia-Ukraine war and said, "Well, it's not for me to tell India what positions to take on international issues, but I know India rightly cares about the international rule of law, the UN Charter and respect for territorial integrity. I think those are things that are universal values that we all share. Those are things that I believe, and India, I know, believes in those things too."
Rishi Sunak on Khalistani extremism
On the sensitive Khalistan issue, Rishi Sunak stressed that no form of extremism or violence like that is acceptable in the UK. "And that's why we are working very closely with the Indian government to particularly tackle 'PKE' Pro-Khalistan Extremism. I don't think it's right. Our security Minister recently was just in India talking to his counterparts. We have working groups together to share intelligence and information so that we can root out this kind of violent extremism. It's not right and I won't tolerate it in the UK," he added.
Rishi Sunak also touched on the aspect of his Hindu identity and his connect with India. "...It is personally incredibly special for me to be back in India. It's a country I love dearly, a country where my family are from. But I have come here in this role to represent the UK, to find ways to forge closer links with India and play a part in making sure that India has an incredibly successful G20," he said.
"I'm a proud Hindu, and that's how I was raised. That's how I am. Hopefully, I can visit a Mandir while I'm here for the next couple of days. We just had Raksha Bandhan, so from my sister and my cousins, I have all my rakhis, and I didn't have time to celebrate Janmashtami properly the other day. But hopefully, I said, I can make up for that if we visit a Mandir this time. But it's something that is important to me. I think faith is something that helps everybody who has faith in their lives, particularly when you have these stressful jobs like I do. Having faith to give you resilience, to give you strength, is important..." he added.
While speaking on India's G20 theme of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam', UK PM Rishi Sunak said, "I think it is a great theme. When you say 'One Family', I am an example of the incredible living bridge that PM Modi described between the UK and India - almost 2 million like me in the UK of Indian origin. So, it is very special for me to be here as British Prime Minister in the country where my family are from."
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