Canada asked the US to condemn India

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Weeks before making explosive allegations implicating Indian officials in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Canadian officials sought public condemnation of the murder from their allies, including the United States, but were met with reluctance, according to The Washington Post.

The alleged assassination of Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, on June 18, led to discussions among senior officials from the Five Eyes countries in the weeks leading up to the September Group of 20 summit in New Delhi. However, no public mention was made before the summit, which was seen as an important event for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement of “credible allegations” in the parliament caused a significant rupture in bilateral relations with India, resulting in the expulsion of an Indian diplomat in Ottawa.

“Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the Government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar,” PM Trudeau said.

However, New Delhi rejected Canada’s allegations of Indian agents being involved in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the chief of Khalistan Tiger Force and a designated ‘terrorist’.

In retaliation, New Delhi ordered a Canadian envoy believed to be spying for Canada in India to leave within five days.

While Trudeau emphasized that Canada was not looking to provoke or escalate the situation, India rejected the accusation as “absurd and motivated,” shifting the focus to Khalistani terrorists and extremists sheltered in Canada.

Nijjar had been designated a terrorist by security agencies in 2020 and was accused of supporting attacks in Punjab. India sought his extradition in 2022 and linked him to the killing of a Hindu priest in Punjab that same year.

According to the report, India had been pressuring countries like Canada, Australia, Britain, and the United States, which have significant Sikh communities, to crack down on the Khalistan movement. Pro-Khalistan protests had taken place in London and San Francisco, causing tension with the Indian government.

This diplomatic controversy unfolds as Western nations seek to strengthen their geopolitical and trade partnerships with India while refraining from criticizing Prime Minister Modi’s authoritarian policies.

Michael Kugelman, a South Asia analyst, pointed out the dilemma facing Western governments, acknowledging Canada as an ally but valuing their relationship with India as a key strategic partner.

According to The Washington Post, the G20 summit in India in September was marked by tension, with Trudeau sidelined and denied formal bilateral talks with Prime Minister Modi. The Khalistan issue was discussed on the summit’s sidelines, further straining relations.

Canada’s Foreign Minister Melanie Joly stated that Trudeau had raised the allegations with President Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, with the topic expected to be discussed at the UN General Assembly.

In response, Washington expressed deep concern and emphasized the importance of Canada’s investigation and bringing the perpetrators to justice. Australia also raised the issue with India at senior levels.

The allegations surrounding Nijjar’s assassination have intensified the long-standing issue of Khalistan supporters in Canada, with potential ramifications for global geopolitics and foreign interference.

While the situation remains complex, it underscores the delicate balance Western nations must maintain between their allies and their strategic partnerships in a rapidly evolving global space, The Washington Post reported.

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