Trudeau’s statement increases sourness between Canada and India


Tensions with Canada: Diplomatic relations between India and Canada have deteriorated significantly due to a statement by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In his statement, Trudeau accused India of involvement in the killing of a Sikh separatist. Both countries also took action and expelled each other’s diplomats.

Trudeau said in an emergency session of the Canadian Parliament late on Monday night that Canadian national security officials have received credible information according to which agents of the Indian government have killed Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. In 2020, the government designated Nijjar, a Canadian citizen who was shot dead in the British Columbia province in June, as a terrorist.

India reacted strongly, calling the allegations ‘baseless and motivated by vested interests’. India said the allegations are an attempt to divert attention from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have received refuge in Canada and who pose a threat to India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Foreign Ministry said in its statement, ‘Canadian leaders openly expressing sympathy towards such elements is a matter of grave concern. Providing space for illegal activities including murder, human trafficking and organized crime in Canada is nothing new.

According to Canadian government broadcaster CBC News, Trudeau had informed the G7 member countries about the Nijjar case. Australia and America have expressed serious concern over these allegations amid rapidly deteriorating relations between India and Canada.

These allegations by Trudeau and the expulsion of Pranab Kumar Rai, posted as Minister (Economy, Coordination and Community Affairs) in the Indian High Commission in Ottawa, have happened almost simultaneously. However, the Canadian Foreign Minister’s Office has described Rai as the head of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in Canada. Hours later, New Delhi responded by expelling a Canadian diplomat on Tuesday.

Sources said the diplomat is Olivier Sylvester, an intelligence officer attached to the Canadian High Commission. Canadian High Commissioner Cameron Mackay was summoned to South Block. After just a 10-minute meeting, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement that the Canadian diplomat has been asked to leave India within the next 5 days.

First Published : September 19, 2023 | 11:07 PM IST

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