In a sharp rebuttal to Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent assertion of India’s involvement in the murder of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, India firmly denied any connection to the incident. Trudeau’s allegations have further strained relations between the two countries, leading to the expulsion of the head of India’s foreign intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), based in Ottawa.
India dismisses claims as “Absurd and Motivated”: India categorically rejected Trudeau’s claims, labeling them “absurd and motivated.” In a statement, India emphasized its commitment to democracy and the rule of law, underscoring that such allegations aim to divert attention from the presence of Khalistani terrorists and extremists sheltered in Canada who threaten India’s sovereignty.
“India rejects allegations by Canada,” MEA issues statement.
“We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister. Allegations of Government of India’s involvement in any act of violence in… pic.twitter.com/RmH8eFDinR
— ANI (@ANI) September 19, 2023
Canada’s stance sparks concern: Canada’s accusations have raised concerns globally, with some drawing parallels to state-sponsored assassinations of political opponents, such as the case of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, orchestrated by Saudi Arabia in Turkey in 2018. Tensions between India and Canada had been simmering due to the unsolved killing of Nijjar, with India expressing dissatisfaction over Canada’s handling of individuals associated with alleged Khalistani supporters.
Expulsion of senior Indian diplomat: In response to Trudeau’s statements, Canada’s Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie announced the immediate removal of a senior Indian diplomat. While the diplomat’s name was not disclosed, it was confirmed that the individual held the position of RAW head in Canada.
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International implications and trade relations: The situation has garnered international attention and ramifications, impacting trade negotiations between Canada and India. Canada had recently suspended talks for a free trade agreement with India.
Modi raises concerns during G20 summit: During the G20 summit in New Delhi, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concerns about anti-India activities by extremist elements in Canada during a meeting with Trudeau, according to an official statement.
Canada’s commitment to values: Prime Minister Trudeau reiterated Canada’s commitment to defending freedom of expression, conscience, and peaceful protest while firmly opposing hatred.
The allegations and subsequent expulsion have shadowed Canada-India relations, raising questions about diplomatic and security matters between the two nations.