In the midst of a diplomatic crisis between India and Canada, sparked by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s accusations against the Indian government, India has responded with a resolute stance.
India’s Anger and Rejection
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau repeated his charge that “Indian government agents” were involved in the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen and wanted terrorist in India.
However, he provided no evidence to support his claims. India has vehemently refuted these allegations and pointed out the lack of any information shared by Canada regarding Nijjar’s death.
Alleged Canadian Diplomatic Interference
India has also accused Canada of interfering in its internal affairs and demanded a downsizing of Canada’s diplomatic presence in the country.
The Indian government argues that the Canadian diplomatic presence in India exceeds what is necessary and should be reduced.
In response, India has suspended visa services in Canada, citing security threats that hinder the normal functioning of its officials.
Tensions and Fallout
The diplomatic row between India and Canada intensified on Tuesday when both countries expelled senior diplomats and issued travel advisories.
India has advised its citizens living in Canada and those traveling there to exercise “utmost caution” in light of the growing anti-India activities.
These tensions had been brewing since Prime Minister Narendra Modi reprimanded Trudeau at the Delhi G20 summit for the attacks on Indian diplomatic missions by Khalistan Supporters in Canada.
Subsequently, Canada postponed a trade mission to India that had been planned for October.
The allegations made by Trudeau linking “Indian agents” to Nijjar’s shooting outside a gurdwara in Surrey were promptly rejected by India as absurd.
Opposition Congress, the primary national political party in India, has stood firmly behind the government and asserted that the country’s interests and concerns should take precedence.
Prominent parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor also emphasized that there is no evidence connecting any Indian government entity to the death of the terrorist.
Security Threats and International Concern
The United States has taken note of the situation and expressed its engagement with both India and Canada on the matter.
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan affirmed the US’s support for the ongoing investigation and the accountability of the perpetrators.
The significance of both India and Canada to the US was emphasized, acknowledging their importance as key players.
Canada has become a favored hub for expat Sikhs, leading to the proliferation of extremism in recent years.
In the past few months, there have been several sikh nationalist activities in Canada, including protests outside the Indian Embassy and the display of posters threatening Indian diplomats.
India’s response to Canada’s accusations has been unyielding, with the government firmly rejecting the allegations and highlighting Canada’s perceived diplomatic interference.
The ongoing dispute between the two countries reflects the complexities and sensitivities surrounding issues of terrorism and national security.