US Sides With NATO Ally Canada Over Allegations Of Indian Interference
The United States on Tuesday (18 September) said that it was "deeply concerned" over Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegations against India over its alleged involvement in killing of Khalistan Tiger Force chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June.
“We are deeply concerned about the allegations referenced by Prime Minister Trudeau earlier today," White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson was quoted as saying by news agency Associated Press.
It should be noted that Canada is part of the US led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
The US also backed Canadian investigation in the matter.
“We remain in regular contact with our Canadian partners. It is critical that Canada’s investigation proceed and the perpetrators be brought to justice,” she added.
Earlier in the day, Trudeau claimed that the Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between Indian government agents and the murder of Khalistan Tiger Force chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia in June.
Trudeau's allegations came at a time when India-Canada relations are at an all-time low due to rising Khalistani activity in the North American country.
"Over the past number of weeks 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," Trudeau said in an emergency statement to the House of Commons.
Soon after Trudeau made the claim, Canadian foreign minister Mélanie Joly announced the expulsion of a “top Indian diplomat” as a consequence.
Joly’s office identified the diplomat as Pavan Kumar Rai, the head of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in Canada, according to public broadcaster CBC.
"My expectations are clear. I expect India to fully collaborate with us and get to the bottom of this," Joly said.
Trudeau had reportedly raised the matter with US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as well.
In response, India released a strongly-worded statement, calling Trudeau's statement as "absurd and motivated".
Further, in a tit-for-tat move, India also expelled a senior Canadian diplomat.
"We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister".
The MEA revealed that similar allegations were made by Trudeau during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of G20 Summit in New Delhi, "and were completely rejected".
"We are a democratic polity with a strong commitment to rule of law," the MEA said.
"Such unsubstantiated allegations seek to shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity," the MEA said.
The inaction of the Canadian Government on this matter has been a long-standing and continuing concern, it added.
"That Canadian political figures have openly expressed sympathy for such elements remains a matter of deep concern. The space given in Canada to a range of illegal activities including murders, human trafficking and organised crime is not new," the MEA said.
"We reject any attempts to connect Government of India to such developments," the MEA said.
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