Press Trust of india

UK announces new funding to deal with ‘pro-Khalistani extremism’

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New Delhi: The United Kingdom’s Security Minister, Tom Tugendhat has announced a new funding of 95,000 pound (around Rs 1 crore) to enhance Britain’s capability to tackle “pro-Khalistan extremism”.

The British High Commission said this in a readout on Tugendhat’s three-day visit to India that began on Thursday.

The announcement on the new funding comes amid growing concerns in India over increasing activities of pro-Khalistani elements in the UK. New Delhi had reacted sharply after an attack by some Khalistani elements on the Indian High Commission in London in March.

Tugendhat is in India to bolster bilateral cooperation on security initiatives and attend the G20 anti-corruption ministerial meeting.

“During a meeting with India’s External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, in New Delhi on Thursday, Minister Tugendhat announced new funding to enhance the UK’s capability to tackle Pro-Khalistan Extremism,” the high commission said on Friday.

It said the 95,000 pound investment will enhance the government’s understanding of the threat posed by “pro-Khalistan extremism”, complementing the joint work already underway between the UK and India through the joint-extremism task force.

“The living bridge between India and the UK reflects our deep and enduring friendship. As the world’s oldest and largest democracies, we have many shared opportunities to make the world a safer and more prosperous place,” Tugendhat said.

“A deeper partnership between our two nations means we can more effectively tackle the security threats we both face. I’m committed to working together to enhance our understanding of and capabilities against extremism –whatever form it takes,” he said.

The minister said he is delighted to be attending the G-20 meeting.

“Corruption also harms our prosperity, damages our society and threatens our national security. I am delighted to be attending the G20 anti-corruption ministerial meeting, presided over by India, to continue strengthening global resilience and cracking down on its corrosive influence,” he said.

Before travelling to Kolkata for the G20 meeting, which will take place on Saturday, Tugendhat is scheduled to visit the headquarters of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to discuss joint challenges posed by child sexual exploitation and abuse, and fraud.

He will also meet National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, the high commission said.

British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis said: “The unique connection between our people brings both huge opportunities and security challenges.”

“Through mechanisms like the Joint Extremism Task Force we are acting jointly on countering threats, including pro-Khalistan extremism, as well as on migration, to keep our people safe,” he said.

Ellis said the migration and mobility relationship between the two countries is a “pillar of our comprehensive strategic partnership” that also includes ensuring a free and open Indo Pacific, and tackling the biggest challenges facing the world around climate and health.

“This is a partnership for now, including India’s G20 Presidency, and for the future,” he added.

British officials maintained that the security of the Indian High Commission in London and its staff, are of utmost importance to the UK government.

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