Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, in a statement last week, claimed there were ‘credible allegations’ of Indian involvement in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. (Photo credit: Getty Images)
The diplomatic standoff between India and Canada continues with no resolution in sight. The crisis began in June 2023 when Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a 45-year-old individual with alleged terrorist ties, was assassinated in a Vancouver suburb.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in a statement last week, claimed there were “credible allegations” of Indian involvement in the killing, further exacerbating the already tense relations between the two countries.
India has categorically rejected these allegations as “absurd and motivated.” This dispute has led to the reciprocal expulsion of diplomats, advisories for citizens residing in each other’s countries, and an ongoing diplomatic standoff.
In response to Trudeau’s comments, India has taken several retaliatory measures against Canada, including:
- Expelling two Canadian diplomats from New Delhi.
- Issuing a travel advisory for Indian nationals traveling to Canada.
- Cautioning the Indian community in Canada about the “increasing incidences of crimes” against them.
- Suspending talks on a free trade agreement with Canada.
Canada, in turn, has responded by:
- Expelling one Indian diplomat from Ottawa.
- Suspending talks on a free trade agreement with India.
- Issuing a travel advisory for Canadians traveling to India.
- Cautioning Canadians of Indian origin about “increasing incidences of crimes” against them in India.
Impact on the Indian Diaspora in Canada
The Indian government has expressed concerns about the safety and well-being of the Indian diaspora in Canada. It has advised Indian Canadians to remain vigilant and to report any hate crimes or discrimination incidents to Canadian authorities.
The Indian government has also established a helpline for Indian Canadians in need of assistance, reachable at 1-800-991-1311.
The India-Canada standoff is a significant crisis that has strained bilateral relations. It remains crucial for both sides to work towards resolving the crisis and rebuilding the relationship.
‘Relationship with India important’
Canada’s Defence Minister Bill Blair, speaking about the diplomatic row, emphasized the importance of the relationship with India. He stated that despite the challenges, Canada has a responsibility to defend its citizens and the law.
Canada had been pursuing deeper trade, defense, and immigration ties with India before the current situation arose.
Investments by Khalistani leaders
Amid the ongoing tension between Canada and India over Khalistani terrorists, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has disclosed details of investments made by Khalistani leaders based in Canada, reported India Today.
These investments spanned various high-profile ventures, including the film industry and the Canadian Premier League. The probe also revealed significant sums spent on luxury yachts in Canada.
The NIA’s chargesheet outlined 13 instances between 2019 and 2021 where substantial amounts were funneled from India to Canada and Thailand through the hawala route.
Hindu outfit protests against Trudeau
The United Hindu Front held a protest against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, expressing disapproval of his alleged support and protection of anti-India Khalistanis.
The group suggested that if Trudeau was supportive of Khalistanis, he should consider creating a new Khalistan within Canada.
‘US provided Canada intelligence on Nijjar’s killing’
The US provided Canada with intelligence following the killing of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Communications intercepted by Ottawa were more definitive, leading to Canada’s accusation against India of orchestrating the plot, reported NY Times.
NIA confiscates Pannu’s properties in Amritsar, Chandigarh
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has tightened its grip on Canada-based “designated individual terrorist” Gurpatwant Singh Pannu.
The NIA confiscated properties, including agricultural land in Amritsar and a share of a house in Chandigarh, belonging to Pannu, reported India Today.
Trudeau Honours Nazi-linked veteran
Canada’s Speaker of the House of Commons, Anthony Rota, issued an apology to the Jewish community after criticism of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for meeting and honouring a veteran of a Nazi division. Rota acknowledged his oversight and expressed his “deepest apologies” to Jewish communities.
“I have subsequently become aware of more information which causes me to regret my decision,” he said, adding his “deepest apologies” to Jewish communities.
Trudeau met with and honoured a veteran of the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, a Nazi division, during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to Canada this week. In response, Canada’s Leader of the Opposition, Pierre Poilievre, criticized Trudeau’s “appalling error in judgment” and called for an apology from the PM.