New Delhi: Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Friday that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, during his talks with PM Narendra Modi, asserted that he was sensitive to India’s concerns on extradition of economic offenders and the Khalistan issue.
Addressing the media, Harsh Vardhan Shringla said the issue of economic offenders was discussed during the bilateral talks, ANI reported.
“On issue of economic offenders, we’ve been pursuing this matter for some time at different levels with UK. Our objective is to bring back those economic fugitives who are wanted in India to face justice in country,” Johnson said.
“UK PM Johnson said that this matter is also important to him. He indicated that he was very sensitive to Indian concerns in this regard and that he would see what he could do,” he said.
Vijay Mallya, a liquor baron who also owned the now-defunct Kingfisher Airline, and Nirav Modi allegedly defrauded banks of tens of thousands of crores.
Shringla also said Johnson promised “zero tolerance” on the Khalistani issue. The Narendra 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.
Apart from this, the two leaders exchanged views on a number of key issues, including the India-UK defence partnership and a free trade agreement (FTA) that is expected to be finalised by Diwali this year.
Harsh Vardhan Shringla, who retires this month, said PM Modi discussed the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict with Johnson and conveyed strong advocacy for peaceful resolution of the situation and direct dialogue between the two parties.
Shringla said that during the talks, there was no pressure applied from the British side regarding sanctions on Russia.
“Prime Minister Modi put forward India’s perspective on the Ukraine issue and asserted that we are on the side of peace, want that there should be dialogue and diplomacy, and the conflict should be resolved soon,” he said.
“PM Modi expressed deep concern over the ongoing situation and mounting humanitarian crisis. He reiterated his call for immediate cessation of violence and conveyed strong advocacy for peaceful resolution of the situation, and direct dialogue between the two parties,” Shringla said.