Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson discussed counterterrorism and the need to rein in fringe separatist outfits during their short bilateral exchange on the margins of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
In a briefing at the close of day one of the world leaders’ summit of the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on Monday night, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla was asked if anti-Indian activities by separatist groups who organise pro-Khalistan activities in the UK were among the issues raised during the talks between the two leaders.
“The meeting was short, but it did allow short exchanges on concerns that both our countries have on increasing radicalism,” Shringla said.
“In many senses, the extremism that we are seeing in certain fringe groups seem to be speaking out on issues that they have no legitimate right to do so and without traction of any kind. But nonetheless, it’s causing a certain level of disequilibrium and concern in both our countries,” he said.
The foreign secretary reviewed the developments at the summit, during which Modi unveiled India’s National Determined Contributions (NBC) of setting an ambitious goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
“As the Prime Minister has said, climate change for him is an article of faith and India is more than fulfilling its commitments,” said Shringla.
He also revealed that while the subject of the extradition of high-profile economic offenders such as Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi, wanted in India on charges of fraud and money laundering, was not specifically discussed at length, the national security advisers of both countries are due to deliberate on the issue at a meeting on Wednesday.
“The issue of extradition is important and the two prime ministers agreed that the specifics of this issue will be discussed between our national security advisers who are going to meet in London on November 3. So, they would go into detail of consular, security and other aspects of the UK-India relationship,” the foreign secretary said.
Earlier, 10 Downing Street also issued a readout of the Johnson-Modi exchange, which it said highlighted the growing strength of the wider UK-India relationship.