India Expels Canadian Diplomat After Trudeau alleges GOI’s involvement in Khalistani Leader Nijjar’s Assassination

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India – Canada: On Tuesday morning, India summoned the Canadian envoy Cameron MacKay to convey its decision to expel a “senior Canadian diplomat” in retaliation for Ottawa’s expulsion of an Indian official concerning the case of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s death.

The Indian foreign ministry has ordered the senior Canadian diplomat to depart from India within a span of five days. This decision comes shortly after the Canadian government expelled an Indian diplomat, marking a further intensification of the ongoing dispute regarding the assassination of a Sikh separatist earlier this year.

Strained relations between India and Canada

The reciprocal expulsions of diplomats reflect the strained relations between Canada and India. This tension has disrupted trade negotiations and led to the cancellation of a planned Canadian trade mission to India scheduled for later this year. The statement by the ministry read, “growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities.”

The Indian government has been displeased by the protests carried out by pro-Sikh independence groups in Canada.

See MEA’s statement here

Canadian PM accuses involvement of India

Earlier, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau accused India of involvement in the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Later, the Canadian government announced that it is actively investigating credible allegations that suggest the potential involvement of Indian government agents in the murder of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Consequently, the Indian diplomat in Canada was expelled.

Nijjar was fatally shot outside a cultural center in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18. It has been reported that at the time of his death, Nijjar was organizing an unofficial referendum in India to gauge support for an independent Sikh nation.

Pro-Khalistani movements in Canada

Bilateral ties between India and Canada have significantly deteriorated due to India’s growing dissatisfaction with Ottawa’s lack of concern regarding the actions of pro-Khalistan factions. These factions have been responsible for inciting violence against Indian diplomats, including the public display of officials’ photos and personal information on posters. Additionally, Indian diplomatic facilities have been subjected to multiple targeted attacks in recent years.

Canadian diplomats, including the high commissioner stationed in New Delhi, have previously been summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs as a formal means of registering protests against the activities of Khalistani elements.

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