Canada-India Relations Strained: Sikh Separatist Leader’s Assassination Sparks Controversy

Canada-India Relations Sour After Sikh Separatist Leader’s Assassination

The relationship between Canada and India has hit a rough patch following the assassination of a Sikh separatist leader near Vancouver. This incident has led to significant diplomatic actions and a growing controversy between the two nations.

Expulsions and Visa Suspension

In the aftermath of the assassination, Canada and India have expelled each other’s diplomats. Adding to the escalating tension, India has taken the unprecedented step of suspending visa processing for Canadian citizens.

Allegations of Indian Government Involvement

The diplomatic rift deepened when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested possible Indian government involvement in the assassination, provoking outrage from India. Trudeau mentioned that investigators were actively examining “credible allegations” linked to the incident.

India’s Rejection and Accusations

India’s Ministry of External Affairs swiftly rejected Trudeau’s claims, labeling them as “absurd.” They accused Canada of harboring “terrorists and extremists” who threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Victim’s Background and Denials

The victim, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, had resided in Canada for over two decades and advocated for Sikh independence while running a plumbing business. In 2020, the Indian government had labeled him a terrorist associated with a banned militant group—a charge consistently denied by Nijjar and his supporters.

Canada’s Sikh Population

Canada boasts the world’s largest Sikh population outside of India, with around 1.35 million Canadians of Indian origin, making up approximately three percent of the country’s population.

Visa Services Suspension

India’s visa application center in Canada, BLS International, has announced the suspension of visa services for Canadians starting September 21, 2023, citing “operational reasons.”

Advisory for Indian Nationals

India’s Ministry of External Affairs has issued an advisory to Indian nationals and students in Canada, urging them to exercise caution due to perceived increases in anti-India activities, politically-condoned hate crimes, and criminal violence within Canada.

Read More :  Sikh Separatism and Tragedy at Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Temple

Trudeau’s Call for Cooperation

Prime Minister Trudeau has emphasized Canada’s commitment to the rule of law, the protection of Canadians, and the defense of values. He has called upon the Indian government to collaborate in establishing processes to uncover the truth and ensure justice and accountability.

Consultation with the United States

Trudeau reportedly consulted with U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration before publicly disclosing the findings forming the basis of his allegations, according to an anonymous U.S. official.

U.S. Stance on Diplomatic Actions

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has reiterated the U.S.’s unwavering commitment to defending its fundamental principles. He emphasized that there are “no exceptions” when it comes to actions like those taken by Canada and India, expressing support for Canada’s law enforcement and diplomatic efforts.

Growing Bilateral Trade

Canada and India have witnessed a significant boost in their bilateral trade relationship, with trade in goods reaching nearly 12 billion Canadian dollars in 2023—an impressive 57 percent increase from the previous year.

Pressure to Share Evidence

Amid escalating tensions, there is mounting pressure on the Canadian government to share more evidence supporting its “credible allegations.” Some of this evidence is reported to have come from Five Eyes allies, a prominent intelligence-sharing network comprising the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Uncertainty Surrounding G20 Summit and Trade Mission

It remains uncertain whether the issue of Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s assassination was raised during the recent G20 summit in New Delhi. Following these developments, Canada has canceled a trade mission to India scheduled for the fall, further indicating the impact on bilateral relations.

Also Read :  Tropical Storm Ophelia Strikes the East Coast


The Newsflixs

TheNewsflixs, your premier source for up-to-the-minute news, insightful analysis, and captivating stories from around the world.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button