EAM raises vandalisation of Indian High Commission with UK Minister Lord Ahmad

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New Delhi, May 29 (UNI) External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday held talks with visiting UK Minister Lord Tariq Ahmad during which the two discussed the India-UK FTA. EAM also raised the issue of vandalization of the Indian High Commission by Khalistani elements in March, and stressed that the UK is obliged to ensure the security of Indian diplomatic missions.

 

In a tweet, the EAM said:

“Met with UK MOS Lord @tariqahmadbt today in New Delhi.

 

“Discussed a broad range of issues, from FTA and South Asia to Indo-Pacific and G20.

 

“Underlined the obligation to ensure security of our diplomatic missions and prevent misuse of democratic freedoms.”

 

Lord Ahmad, UK’s Minister of State for the Middle East, South Asia, UN and the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, is on an India visit from May 27-31, with a focus on strengthening science, research and innovation links.

 

Lord Ahmad is meeting senior Indian Ministers and officials, including Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra, Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, and G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant, besides EAM Jaishankar.

 

He is visiting historic cultural sites and high-tech research facilities in Jodhpur, New Delhi and Hyderabad and also meeting senior officials from the Indian Government.

 

India had summoned the senior-most UK diplomat in New Delhi on March 19 late evening, to convey its strong protest after some Khalistani elements removed the Indian flag from outside the Indian High Commission in London.

 

In a statement, India had demanded an explanation for the complete absence of British security that allowed the Khalistani elements to enter the Indian High Commission premises.

 

India also said it finds “unacceptable the indifference of the UK Government to the security of Indian diplomatic premises and personnel in the UK” and demanded that the perpetrators be immediately arrested and prosecuted and stringent measures be put in place to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

 

A large group of Khalistani supporters shouting pro-Khalistan slogans had surrounded the Indian High Commission in London on March 19. One of them climbed the verandah of the Indian mission and removed the Indian flag, and attempted to replace it with a Khalistani flag. However, an Indian official stopped him from doing so.

 

During his India visit, Lord Ahmad is to announce the UK-India Health-Tech Bootcamp winners, welcoming collaboration between the health and start-up communities in both countries.

 

Lord Ahmad is in India for a visit that will accelerate UK-India collaboration on science, technology and health, following a landmark agreement on science, research and innovation signed by the two countries in April.

 

UNI RN

 

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