New Delhi: National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval will hold annual strategic talks with his UK counterpart Tim Barrow in London today. In this talk, Doval will discuss the controversial documentary by British media agency BBC targeting PM Narendra Modi, Kashmir issue, and Khalistan movement. NSA Doval will also discuss the state of bilateral relations with Barrow in London, the global strategic environment with the Russia-Ukraine war, and the Indo-Pacific. The two NSAs are expected to exchange comments on terrorism in the Afghanistan-Pak region and the overall situation in the Middle East.
While India and the UK are working towards signing a free trade agreement this year. According to the IMF, India is the fastest-growing large economy in the world and Britain is the weakest link among the G-7 economies. NSA Ajit Doval is likely to raise UK-based violent extremism in the context of Sikh fundamentalist groups operating from Britain, besides Pakistani Islamist organizations opposing India over Kashmir and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The Modi government says that Britain is trying to justify violence in the name of freedom of expression and is using fundamentalists-Khalistanis as a pressure point against India.
Another area where the Modi government is quite unhappy is the UK providing shelter and protection to economic fugitives like Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya, Sanjay Bhandari, and others. Even though India and the UK have an extradition treaty, not a single economic offender has been deported back to India by the courts and Whitehall. India also has a problem with the BBC operating under the guidance of the UK Foreign Office polarizing Indians on communal lines by trying to re-open the 2002 Gujarat riots even after the Indian Supreme Court gave a clean chit to PM Modi. Clearly, the conversation between NSA Doval and NSA Barrow is going to be professional and businesslike, the onus will be on Britain to rectify that if it wants to do business with India.
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