After publicly accusing India, a key ally and significant trading partner, Trudeau government’s subsequent suggestion to resolve the issue through private discussions, after making public allegations puts Canada in an embarrassing position
India and Canada have been locked in diplomatic row over the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar Source: PTI
New Delhi: Has Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau bitten off more than he can chew by alleging the Indian government’s ‘possible role’ in the killing of Khalistan terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar? India responded strongly to Trudeau’s allegations by suspending visa services in Canada while citing threats to Indian diplomats from Khalistan supporters. The Modi government has also asked Canada to recall more than 20 of its diplomats and according to some media reports about 40 Canadian diplomats have been told to leave India by October 10.
In the face of a resolute stance from New Delhi and a robust rebuke from the Modi administration, Canada appears to be reconsidering its position in this ongoing diplomatic feud concerning the Khalistani terrorist’s assassination.
On Tuesday, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie said her country wanted to “engage privately with India to resolve this diplomatic dispute,” news agency Reuters said. The agency also quoted Jolie as saying that we are in touch with the Indian government. “We take the security of Canadian diplomats very seriously and we will continue to engage with India privately because we believe diplomatic conversations are best when they remain private,” she said.
Tale of a diplomatic dilemma
The Canadian PM, it seems, failed to gauge India’s strong foreign policy when he messed with the country. After accusing an ally and key trading partner of ‘imaginary crime’ in public, the Trudeau government embarrassed itself and the country once again by talking about clearing the issue in private.
But why did Trudeau choose to publicly make such an accusation in the first place? The fact that Canada has yet to furnish substantial evidence that would substantiate the Indian government’s involvement, shows how Trudeau has goofed up his country’s foreign policy.
Trudeau, it seems did not realise that by stirring a hornet’s nest, he has committed a huge political blunder which is now snowballing into straining of Canada’s ties with a powerful nation like India. It was highly irresponsible for a country’s prime minister to make baseless statements purely for political gains and his remarks are being linked to Canada’s internal politics where Trudeau seems to be playing at the hands of fringe elements to save his government.
It is an open knowledge that the Liberal Party, led by Trudeau, holds a minority government position in the House of Commons and to pass bills and budgets, they depend on the support of the New Democratic Party which is Canada’s fourth-largest party in terms of numbers in the House. The NDP’s leader, Jagmeet Singh, is a Khalistan sympathiser and advocates for an independent Sikh homeland in Punjab.
India’s importance in Global South
In his political compulsion, Trudeau seems to have forgotten India’s formidable role and importance when it comes to countering China’s geopolitical influence. The fact that today Canada is not getting support over Trudeau’s accusations is a sign that even Canada’s allies like the US, France or the UK, do not wish to make New Delhi angry as it is very important for all due to strategic and economic reasons.
This fact that now Canada wants to talk in private further bolsters New Delhi’s influence in the global community, especially as the world seeks to strengthen connections with the “Global South,” a realm in which India has asserted its leadership.
India’s tough stand on the circumstances shows that the diplomatic ship has sailed long back for PM Trudeau and he must have by now realised that in the face of a strong government in India, he can no longer arm-twist India like the West is known to be doing in the past.
Trudeau’s foreign policy blunder
Additionally, Trudeau’s foreign policy blunders have now become open knowledge, but his move on India, which is the fastest-growing economy in the world will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
First, he should have realised that by straining relations with New Delhi he has also committed a huge economic blunder. At a time when Canada and the West were trying to move out of the Chinese influence in trade, India was the answer to it. According to foreign policy experts, Canada by distancing itself from China could have gained from India in terms of trade that it was to lose from China.
Canada’s insistence on private talks with India on the matter shows that PM Trudeau released half-baked intelligence to distract attention from his domestic political troubles in Canada. But in doing so he forgot that India under PM Modi is fast becoming a powerful global leader and is following nation-first policy when it comes to positioning itself at the global stage.
As Trudeau has so far failed to provide evidence to his accusations against India it shows that it is he who made baseless claims and not India. Trudeau’s impulsive actions have made the Canadians bear the consequences of it.
This abrupt shift in approach has left both Canada and its leader in an embarrassing position, as it appeared to be an admission that their initial claims lacked substance.
This sequence of events highlights the importance of careful diplomacy and the need for a consistent and well-thought-out approach to international relations. Accusing a country publicly without adequate evidence can lead to serious consequences, and reversing such accusations in private may not easily repair the damage done. Trudeau’s actions in this situation have raised concerns about his government’s foreign policy competence and its ability to navigate complex international relationships.