On April 21, Michael Sukkar, Minister for Housing and the Homelessness, Social and Community Housing Ministry, Australia, said there would be zero tolerance for violence and such activities and condemned the vandalism done by Khalistanis on Hindu temples recently.
Sukkar said, “Well, I can completely understand the concern that many in India have we have a zero-tolerance, particularly in the coalition opposition parties zero-tolerance approach to those sorts of issues being brought to Australia. Quite frankly, our view for all migrants to Australia is that you don’t bring those all that Animosities to Australia”. He added, “And in any event, acting in that way, in a violent way, we have no tolerance for. I understand that the five men have been charged in relation to those activities because we in no way, shape or form support that kind of violent conduct”.
He commented, “I myself am a migrant. My family migrated from Lebanon and we have always said ‘Don’t bring problems from home to Australia.’ You do not bring your domestic issues and differences when you come here. Violence and vandalism cannot be tolerated”.
The Deakin MP also discussed India and Australia’s shared values and said that the relationship between both countries is “very crucial”. While condemning the recent attacks, he said, “India is a large and diverse country. It has been a successful democracy because people have been able to solve their differences and that’s one thing Australia and India share. We are not perfect, but there are always ways of solving differences and issues. But violence and vandalism are not acceptable. We have zero tolerance for it”.
He emphasised that his area, which is home to a sizable section of the Indian diaspora, has around 10,000 members of the Indian-Australian community.
He mentioned, “Every single constituent of mine from the Australian-Indian community urged me to visit India, and now I’m here to understand the country better and forge stronger Indo-Australian ties”.
During the interview, Sukkar reacted to the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the QUAD summit; he commented, “Well, it’s quite exciting that your Prime Minister is planning on going to Australia for the quad summit. We believe it to be of utmost significance for our area. Four democracies coming together to form the QUAD, which has a lot more influence than many of us could have expected since the Asia Pacific region is so crucial to the future of wealth and peace in the globe, I think is a fantastic thing”.
He further said, “And we hope that we can welcome your Prime Minister to Australia in the same way that all Australians are made very welcome when we come to India, including me, on this most recent trip”.
While highlighting the importance of QUAD, “We think that in order to ensure peace in our region, the more that we’re able as a grouping of share of like-minded countries, the closer we’re able to work together, the better. I think we all have to accept that large nations, including India, who are large, who have influence, quite rightly, want that influence to be projected in their immediate area. And we think you can do it in a healthy way, just like the Indians do. And we hope that the quad can help support that”.
(With inputs from ANI)