NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar gave a strong message to Khalistanis after several acts of vandalism and disrespect of the Tricolour were reported and said that India will not accept its national flag being pulled down.
“The days when India would have taken this lightly are behind us and this is not the India which will accept its national flag being pulled down by somebody,” Jaishankar said.
Answering a question about Khalistani movements across the world, and on measures India will take, Jaishankar said, “We have seen in the last few days some such incidents in London, Canada, Australia, San Francisco. There is a very small minority, with different interests. Some interests are of neighbours, some are of people who try to use it for visas and for personal interest.”
“They try to project this for their advantage and there are others who do not frankly wish India well,” he added.
“The point here is that when we established embassies abroad when our diplomats are performing their task, we are very clear that it is the obligation of the country where these embassies are, where these diplomats are, to provide security. After all, we provide security for so many foreign embassies,” Jaishankar also said.
“If they do not provide security, if they do not take this seriously and if there are such incidents, then we will respond,” he warned the Khalistanis.
The Indian flag outside the Indian High Commission in London was pulled down by a group of pro-Khalistani supporters and the embassy there was vandalised last month over the Punjab Police’s crackdown on Amritpal Singh.
“The first thing our High Commissioner did, he brought an even bigger flag and he put it right up there. A bigger flag was put up outside the embassy following the act,” Jaishankar said, adding, “In that sense, the idea is that there is today a different India, an India which is very responsible and very firm.”