Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called upon India to collaborate with an investigation into the murder of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia.
Trudeau emphasized that Canada would not release its evidence about the case. He stated that Canada doesn’t want to make things worse with India. Also, he asked India to be very serious about the situation and cooperate with Canada to find out what happened regarding the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. The call for cooperation follows Trudeau’s earlier statement, where he asserted credible allegations linking Indian government agents to Nijjar’s June murder, prompting a strong response from New Delhi. Notably, Hardeep Singh Nijjar was a Canadian citizen.
Canada’s Extensive Investigation: Canada’s government has undertaken a comprehensive investigation into the murder of the Sikh separatist leader, gathering human and signal intelligence over several months. These developments were reported by CBC News, citing reliable sources familiar with the matter.
Cautious Approach of Traditional Allies: While Canada has taken a proactive stance, traditional Canadian allies have approached the situation cautiously. This careful approach is partially attributed to the recognition of India as a crucial counterweight to China’s expanding influence in the region. Canadian political analysts have noted the significance of maintaining constructive relations with India.
Trudeau’s Emphasis on Rule of Law: During a press conference in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, Trudeau highlighted Canada’s unwavering commitment to the rule of law and the protection of its citizens. He called upon the Indian government to cooperate in establishing processes that would uncover the truth behind Nijjar’s murder.
Intelligence Revealing Indian Government Involvement: According to CBC’s report, Indian officials, including diplomats based in Canada, have not denied allegations of Indian government involvement in Nijjar’s death when discussing the matter privately. The report also disclosed that intelligence included communications involving Indian officials, with some information provided by an unnamed ally within the Five Eyes alliance. The Five Eyes alliance comprises intelligence-sharing nations: the U.S., the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
U.S. Involvement in the Matter: U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan confirmed that the United States is communicating with Canada and India regarding Ottawa’s allegations, marking the first official confirmation of Washington’s involvement in discussions.
Indian Measures in Response: In response to Canada’s allegations and calls for cooperation, India suspended new visas for Canadians and requested Ottawa to reduce its diplomatic presence there. Prime Minister Trudeau refrained from commenting on these measures.
Indian Trade Official’s Perspective: An Indian trade official emphasized that there was no compelling reason for Canadian pension funds to withdraw their investments in India, suggesting that economic and trade relations should continue irrespective of the diplomatic tensions.