‘UK Has Set Up Anti-Extremist Task Force To Help India’: Boris Johnson

New Delhi: On day two of his maiden India visit, Britain Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke about a range of issues, including the growing threat of extremist groups in both the countries. While speaking to media jointly with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Johnson said that United Kingdom did not tolerate extremist groups threatening other countries and India. 

Counter-terrorism and the need to rein in extremist activities by certain fringe separatist outfits have always been one of the top agendas of bilateral exchange between India and the UK. Often there have been anti-Indian activities by separatist groups who organise pro-Khalistani activities in Britain. 

When asked about issue of Khalistani extremists in UK that often propagate anti-India narrative, Johnson said that his government has formed an anti-extremist task force to help India. “UK has a very strong view that we don’t tolerate extremist groups threating other countries. We have set up an anti-extremist task force to help India,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla told media that Johnson promised “zero tolerance” on the Khalistani issue to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the bilateral talks. Modi government has been repeatedly seeking action against pro-Pakistan Sikh radicals operating from the UK.

“India raised the issue of Khalistan with UK PM Johnson, who said the UK is sensitive to India’s concerns and there will be zero tolerance to this issue,” Shringla said.

Boris Johnson On Nirav Modi, Mallya’s Extradition

Further speaking about progress on extradition process of Indian fugitive businessmen, including liquor baron Vijay Mallya and dimaond diamantaire Nirav Modi, Johnson said that there are legal technicalities that have made it difficult. “From our point of view, we want them to go back. We don’t welcome people who want to use our legal system to evade the law,” Johnson said.

“UK government has ordered the extradition. We don’t welcome people who want to use our legal system to evade the law in India,” he said further.

UK To Reopen Embassy In Kyiv Next Week: UK PM

When asked to comment on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, Johson made it clear that UK and its allies will not watch passively as Vladimir Putin carries on this onslaught. He also said that United Kingdom will reopen its Embassy in Kyiv next week. “The way in which the situation is not just in Ukraine but around the world is obliging the UK and India to do more. The position on Russia India has, is well known. It is not going to change,” he said further.

Speaking on the assessment by Western intelligence officials that the Ukraine war could go on till the end of next year and Russia could win, UK PM said that it is a realistic possibility. “Putin has a huge army…the only option he has now is to continue to use his grinding approach led by artillery,” Johnson said adding that Putin will not be able to conquer the spirit of the people of Ukraine.

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