Sat. Dec 9th, 2023

NEW DELHI: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday urged India to take the allegations levelled by his country regarding the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar – a Canadian national – seriously and work closely to allow justice to follow its course. “I call upon the Govt of India to work with us, to take seriously these allegations and to allow justice to follow its course,” Trudeau said in a televised address.

Justifying the allegations levelled against India, Trudeau said, “As I said on Monday, there are credible reasons to believe that agents of the Govt of India were involved in the killing of a Canadian on Canadian soil, which is something of utmost and foundational importance in the country of rule of law, in a world where international rules-based order matters. We have an independent justice system and robust processes that will follow their course and we call upon the Govt of India to engage with us to move forward on getting to the truth of this matter.”



PM Trudeau also assured that Canada is a safe country where the rule of the law is followed. The Canadian leader maintained, “As a country of the rule of the law, we have an obligation to ensure that those processes unfold in a rigorous and independent manner and that is what we are ensuing and we stand for international based order. We are highlighting how unacceptable it would be for any country to be involved in the killing of a citizen on their home soil…”

The appeal from Trudeau came hours after the Canadian government categorically rejected a travel advisory issued by India about security risks in Canada, claiming it is ”one of the safest countries” in the world, and called for calm amid the escalating diplomatic row between the two nations over the killing of a Khalistani terrorist in this country. 

PM Trudeau’s allegations of “potential” involvement of Indian government agents in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June unleashed a diplomatic row with India rejecting the charges as “absurd” and “motivated” and kicking out a senior Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move to Ottawa’s expulsion of an Indian official.

In a tit-for-tat response, India on Wednesday advised all its citizens living in Canada and those contemplating travelling there to exercise “utmost caution” in view of growing anti-India activities and “politically-condoned” hate crimes in the North American country, as the diplomatic row over the killing of a Khalistani terrorist threatened to snowball into a major confrontation.

In a strongly-worded advisory, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi referred to “threats” targeting Indian diplomats and sections of the Indian community that oppose the “anti-India agenda”, and asked Indian nationals to avoid travelling to regions and potential venues in Canada which have seen such incidents.

Canada’s Immigration Minister Marc Miller sought to reassure Indian nationals on Wednesday that it is safe to travel to the country even as a terrorist of the Sikh separatist movement banned in India has announced plans for rallies in Canadian cities on Monday that seek the closing of New Delhi’s diplomatic missions in the country, The Globe and Mail newspaper reported.

“Look, I think everyone knows Canada is a safe country and given the events of the last two or three days and the seriousness of the allegations that – it’s important for everyone to stay calm,” The Canadian Press quoted Miller as saying. “Canada by any standard is one of the safest if not the safest countries in the world that is governed by the rule of law. So, I think people should read that statement for what it is,” Miller claimed.

He acknowledged that Canadian allegations of the “potential” involvement of Indian government agents in the killing of a Khalistani terrorist have heightened tensions with the Indian government.

“Given what the Prime Minister has said quite clearly to Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, the allegations are very serious, and these are discussions that have to continue with India,” he said. “At the same time, emotions are running high, and we’ve asked everyone just to stay calm given the seriousness of the allegations,” he added.

Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities Sean Fraser said that he would not comment on the specifics of the probe into Nijjar’s death because he does not want to compromise any investigations.

He said Canadians should have faith in the security services’ ability to investigate the death. “It’s important that if we believe in justice, we believe in the process that gets us there,” the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation quoted Fraser as saying.

“I am sure there are good reasons not to share details that may ground such extraordinary allegations because protecting the process of getting to a just result is extremely important,” Fraser said.

“We are a country that was built on migration. If you’re not from an indigenous community, you came from somewhere else, and I can tell you right now the people I’m talking to here, don’t want to see divisions based on whether you are Sikh, Hindu or Muslim. They want to come together as Canadians and promote peaceful dialogue, even in the most difficult conversations,” he said.

The MEA on Tuesday trashed Justin Trudeau’s claims asserting that “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.”

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