The latest incident of pro-Khalistan activists demonstrating in front of our mission in London, climbing to the balcony on the frontage of the building and removing the national flag, and breaking some windows as well, has happened because the UK authorities have not taken seriously our long-standing protests about allowing such demonstrations against the mission by local anti-India elements working together with those belonging to the Pakistani-origin Muslim community which has links with the Pakistani intelligence operatives in the UK.
The standard response to our protests has been that the UK recognises the right to protest and freedom of speech, and that by law, the UK authorities cannot ban such demonstrations. If so, what is the compulsion under law that such demonstrations with potential for violence must be staged in front of the mission and not at some distance away to eliminate the possibility of any violent action against our property and personnel? Why create a sense of siege in the mission, disturb its functioning, subject our officials to stress and expose them to offensive slogans, placards and abuse?
One can perhaps understand the compulsion of the UK authorities to allow a demonstration to give vent to strong public feelings if British citizens or vital interests have been subject to a major high-handed action in violation of international law in a foreign country. India has taken no such action against British citizens or interests.
That the UK authorities gave permission to a pro-Khalistani rabble to protest in front of our High Commission without any Britishers or British interests being violated in India suggests that they see the Khalistani cause as a British cause. If not, what is the justification for allowing such a protest?
In defence of its position, the UK side uses the specious argument that what happens in India spills over into Britain because of diaspora connections. In other words, the UK believes it is compelled to interfere in our internal affairs because these impinge on theirs.
The assumption behind this argument is that what happens in some internal matters in India is wrong and the British citizens are right to protest. How is it that these British citizens are extremist Sikhs, extremist Muslims of Pakistani origin with links to some Arab extremists as was seen in the case of the Leicester rioting, Pakistani-origin MPs who fuel the campaign against India on the Kashmir issue, and many Labour MPs in marginal constituencies that depend on the Muslim vote for their election? The British press is part of this anti-India campaign too.