India’s Global Alliances Isolate Canada in Khalistan Dispute

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Canada has recently revealed intelligence that suggests potential links between Indian government agents and the murder of a pro-Khalistan Sikh leader. This revelation has not sparked significant outrage among democratic allies, mainly due to India’s growing importance as a counterweight to China, which has led to Canada being diplomatically outmatched.

Stephanie Carvin, a professor of international relations at Carleton University, notes that India is crucial in Western efforts to balance China, whereas Canada lacks the same strategic significance. This situation places Canada in a challenging position compared to other Western countries.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada is actively investigating credible allegations of Indian involvement in the murder of Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June. Canada had discussed this matter with key allies, including the Five Eyes intelligence sharing alliance (the United States, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand).

However, the response from Canada’s allies has been relatively muted. Britain, for example, has refrained from publicly criticizing India and has stated that bilateral trade talks will continue as planned. The UK faces a delicate situation, caught between supporting Canada and maintaining positive relations with India, a potential trading partner and ally against China.

In contrast to the muted response, when compared to other incidents like the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in England in 2018, allies swiftly condemned Russia. The discrepancy in responses can be attributed to the global interest in fostering ties with India amid ongoing tensions with China.

While Canada seeks allies’ support in condemning India, the options are limited until incontrovertible evidence emerges. As of now, Canada has not made its intelligence public due to an ongoing murder investigation.

The situation highlights the complexity of Canada’s diplomatic position and its efforts to balance its interests in the face of growing geopolitical dynamics.

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