For decades, India and the United Kingdom have enjoyed strong bilateral relations, ranging from trade and investment to culture and education. However, one issue that has consistently marred this relationship is the presence of pro-Khalistan elements in the UK. These groups have exploited the UK’s asylum status and its lenient policies. In order to foster better ties between the two countries, there must be no leniency or consideration shown to these extremist elements.
During the 5th India-UK Home Affairs Dialogue held in New Delhi, the Indian government expressed concerns about the misuse of the UK’s asylum status by pro-Khalistan elements. The Indian delegation, led by Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, requested better cooperation and increased monitoring of UK-based pro-Khalistan extremists. The UK delegation, headed by Permanent Secretary, Home Office, Matthew Rycroft, responded positively, and both sides agreed to deepen bilateral engagement and maintain momentum for enhanced security cooperation.
The presence of these pro-Khalistan elements in the UK poses a significant threat to the safety and security of both nations. Not only do these groups incite violence and promote terrorism in India, but they also pose a risk to the UK’s own security, as they can easily radicalize local communities and foment unrest. Therefore, it is in the best interest of both countries to take proactive measures to monitor and curtail the activities of these extremist elements.
Moreover, the activities of these pro-Khalistan outfits undermine the diplomatic efforts between India and the UK. Last month, the Indian High Commission in London was attacked by a group of pro-Khalistan activists who pulled down the tricolour and attempted to hoist a Khalistan flag. Such actions damage the mutual trust and respect that form the basis of any strong diplomatic relationship.
In order to strengthen the bilateral relationship between India and the UK, both nations need to commit to a joint effort to tackle the issue of pro-Khalistan elements. This can be done through increased intelligence sharing, joint counter-terrorism efforts, and tightening of asylum policies to prevent the entry of extremists into the UK. By doing so, both countries can ensure that their citizens remain safe from the threats posed by these extremist groups and can continue to focus on deepening their partnership in other areas.