CANADA: Amidst the mounting strain in relations between India and Canada, the Canadian Prime Minister has once again asserted that Indian operatives were responsible for the assassination of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil.
Justin Trudeau made this provocative statement on Monday, September 18, exacerbating the already strained relationship between the two nations. Furthermore, on Friday, Trudeau reiterated his claim.
The Indian government vehemently rebuffed the Canadian Prime Minister's statement, dismissing it as "absurd." It's worth noting that India had designated Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020, and he met his demise outside a gurudwara in British Columbia this June.
Here are ten noteworthy updates on this significant development:
Trudeau's Assertion: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada revealed that his country had shared evidence with India regarding "credible allegations" implicating Indian agents in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar several weeks ago. He stressed, "What we are asking for is India's commitment to engage constructively with Canada in order to ascertain the truth of this matter. We have been ready to collaborate for several weeks now."
US Government's Expectation: The United States government expressed its anticipation that the Indian government would collaborate with Canada in investigating the potential involvement of New Delhi's agents in Nijjar's death.
Consulate General's Extended Services: The Consulate General of India in Toronto has expanded its consular services for Indian nationals residing in Canada. The extended services encompass passport issuance, attestation, police clearance certificates, and passport renewal.
Congress Party's Stance: The Congress party underscored the necessity for an uncompromising stance against terrorism and called for "intensive diplomatic engagement" to resolve this "serious crisis" while ensuring the safety of Indians in Canada.
Visa Suspension: India has suspended the issuance of new visas to Canadians and has requested Ottawa to reduce its diplomatic presence in the country.
Basis of Canada's Allegations: Canada's accusations regarding India's involvement in Nijjar's killing rely on a combination of human intelligence, signal intelligence, and inputs from a partner within Ottawa's Five Eyes intelligence network.
Global Concerns: During their meeting at the G20 summit this month, US President Joe Biden and other world leaders expressed their concerns to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about Canada's claims that New Delhi played a role in the assassination of a Sikh separatist leader on Canadian soil.
Tourists and Travelers Affected: Canadian tourists, business travelers, and even some former Indian citizens have been scrambling to change their travel plans and seek information about their trip deposits. This rush comes in response to India's sudden suspension of visa applications, which has fueled an escalating diplomatic dispute.
Trudeau's Stance: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emphasized Canada's commitment to upholding the international rules-based order, even as he accused Indian agents of orchestrating the murder of a Canadian Sikh leader. He also acknowledged India's increasing significance as a nation with which the West, including Canada, must continue to engage.
The ongoing developments in this India-Canada conflict continue to raise concerns and test diplomatic relations between the two countries.