A Parliamentary delegation from the United Kingdom called on Vice President Jagadeep Dhankhar on Tuesday and held discussions on historical, business and people-to-people ties between both countries.
Taking Twitter, the Vice President said, “A parliamentary delegation from UK, co-led by Baroness Verma and Lord Karan Bilimoria called on Hon’ble Vice President, Shri Jagadeep Dhankhar today. Discussion touched upon historical, business and people-to-people ties as they resolved to take the India-UK relationship to greater heights.”
The delegation also met Union Minister for Civil Aviation and Steel, Jyotiraditya Scindia, on Tuesday, and had a discussion on enhancing trade ties, strengthening bilateral agreements, safety and security, and India’s G20 leadership.
This meeting came amid ‘The Times’ report, claiming India had stalled negotiations due to its concerns that the British government had failed to condemn the recent attack on the High Commission in London by pro-Khalistan supporters.
London-based newspaper, The Times, in its April 10 edition, cited senior British government sources to report that the Indian government has “disengaged” from talks for a free-trade agreement (FTA) with the UK and had made it clear that there would be no progress “without a public condemnation of the Khalistan movement.”
However, government sources in New Delhi denied the “baseless” report.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the UK Department for Business and Trade on April 10 said British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly condemned the recent acts of violence at the Indian High Commission in London, adding that Metropolitan Police were reviewing security and changes were being made to ensure safety,
Cleverly also said that both UK and India are committed to delivering an ambitious and mutually beneficial Foreign Trade Agreement and concluded the latest round of trade talks last month, the spokesperson said.
The India-UK Free Trade Agreement talks were launched on June 17, 2022.
On March 19 this year, protesters holding Khalistan banners staged a demonstration outside the High Commission in London. One of the protestors climbed up its balcony and pulled down the Tricolour. The protest was being held to denounce the recent police action in Punjab.
In a video of the incident, which has since gone viral on social media, a protestor is seen on the balcony attempting to bring down the Indian flag. At the end of the video, another man is seen reaching the balcony and wrestling the Tricolour back from the Khalistan supporter.
Earlier, India also had summoned the senior-most British diplomat UK diplomat, deputy high commissioner Christina Scott, to lodge a protest.
“It is expected that the UK Government would take immediate steps to identify, arrest and prosecute each one of those involved in today’s incident, and put in place stringent measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents,” read an official press release by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had recently said that India expects to see more action, than just assurance and hoped that foreign governments will act against and prosecute those involved in the incident.