The Cratering India-Canada relations

India-Canada relations
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons foyer on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada, on September 18. (Image: Blair Gable/Reuters)

India-Canada relations: In a reiteration of an allegation that has sparked a diplomatic dispute and threatens to worsen relations between the two countries, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has urged India to seriously investigate his claim that he has reliable information linking New Delhi to the murder of a Sikh separatist activist on Canadian soil.

Canada was “simply laying out the facts,” according to Trudeau, and was not attempting to “provoke” India or “escalate” the issue. According to him, his administration will “follow the evidence and make sure that the work is done to hold people to account.”

Indian authorities have fiercely disputed Canada’s allegations that they were perhaps involved in the June murder of famous Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, calling them “absurd and motivated.”

According to experts, the dispute raises the possibility of a never-before-seen rupture between two important American allies and might place other major Western nations in an awkward situation.

Why are India-Canada relations cratering?

On Monday, Trudeau stated in Parliament that Canadian police were looking into “credible allegations” of a connection between “agents of the government of India” and the June shooting death of Nijjar, a Sikh Canadian citizen, by masked individuals.

Melanie Joly, Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, later claimed that Ottawa had expelled an Indian diplomat—who she referred to be the chief of the Indian intelligence organization in the nation—as a “consequence.”

In retaliation, India denied Trudeau’s claims, charged Canada with harboring terrorists, and said it had been a “long-standing” worry that Canada had not taken action against radicals. A top Canadian official was also expelled from the nation.

The Sikh community in Canada, one of the largest outside of India with more than 770,000 members, was shocked by Nijjar’s passing in June.

Following Trudeau’s remarks, the Ontario Gurdwaras Committee and British Columbia Gurdwaras Council requested the Canadian government to “immediately suspend all intelligence, investigative, and prosecutorial cooperation with India.”

The groups stated in a joint statement that “Canada’s comprehensive response must reflect the gravity of India’s role in the premeditated murder of a Sikh dissident living in Canada.”

Credits: CNN

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