India’s External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, has called on the Canadian government to provide evidence supporting its claim that Indian agents were involved in the assassination of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Speaking during his visit to the UK, Jaishankar emphasized that India is not ruling out a probe into the matter but stressed that no evidence has been shared by Canada thus far.
The diplomatic row between India and Canada began when the Trudeau government expelled a senior Indian diplomat based on allegations of Indian government involvement in Nijjar’s killing. In response, the Indian government ordered a senior Canadian diplomat to leave the country within five days, citing concerns over Canadian diplomats’ interference in India’s internal affairs and their anti-India activities.
While India has firmly rejected the allegations made by the Trudeau government, tensions between the two nations have been simmering for years due to the presence of Khalistani extremism in Canada. The strained diplomatic relations reached a new low when Canada accused India of foreign interference and links to Nijjar’s assassination.
In light of the pro-Khalistani activities taking place in Canada, Jaishankar highlighted the importance of responsible freedom of speech and expression. He pointed out that the misuse of these freedoms for political purposes is unacceptable and undermines the spirit of these democratic principles.
Indian diplomats in Canada have also faced challenges, with the High Commission of India experiencing attacks and Indian diplomats being intimidated in public. Jaishankar expressed disappointment in the lack of action taken by Canadian authorities against the perpetrators of such incidents.
As this diplomatic dispute unfolds, it is crucial for both countries to engage in a transparent and evidence-based dialogue. Providing concrete evidence to support claims is essential to maintaining the integrity of the investigation into Nijjar’s assassination. Both India and Canada should work towards fostering stronger bilateral ties and address the underlying issues of Khalistani extremism effectively.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What is Khalistani extremism?
Khalistani extremism refers to the movement seeking a separate Sikh state, called Khalistan, in the Punjab region of India. It emerged in the 1970s and gained momentum during the 1980s, resulting in violence and terrorism.
Q: What were the allegations made by Canada against India?
Canada alleged that Indian agents were involved in the assassination of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. However, no evidence has been shared to substantiate these claims.
Q: How did India respond to the allegations?
India rejected the allegations as “absurd” and “motivated,” emphasizing the need for Canada to provide evidence supporting its claims.
Q: What impact has this dispute had on India-Canada relations?
The dispute has further strained the already frosty relations between India and Canada. Tensions have risen due to concerns over Khalistani extremism and allegations of foreign interference.
Q: What is the current status of the investigation into Nijjar’s assassination?
The investigation is ongoing, and India has expressed its willingness to conduct a probe. However, concrete evidence from Canada is crucial for a thorough and transparent investigation.