Nijjar killing row: Now, Canada PM Trudeau wants to build ‘closer ties’ with India

Nijjar killing row: Now, Canada PM Trudeau wants to build ‘closer ties’ with India

File image of Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Photograph:(Reuters)

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On June 18, the chief of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) Hardeep Singh Nijjar was killed in Surrey, British Columbia. Nijjar was designated as a terrorist by India in 2020

In another twist to his diplomatic stance, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is committed to building closer ties with India, despite his claim of “credible allegations” of the Indian government’s involvement in the murder of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia just last June, reported Canada-based National Post.

Nijjar was murdered in Surrey, British Columbia on June 18. He was designated as a terrorist by India in 2020.

Speaking about India’s increasing influence worldwide, Trudeau said that it is “extremely important” that Canada, as well as its allies, continue engaging with the South Asian giant.

While addressing a press conference on Thursday (Sep 28) in Montreal, Trudeau stated that it is “extremely important” that Canada and its allies continue their engagement “constructively and seriously” with India, considering the country’s increasing global importance.

“India is a growing economic power and important geopolitical player. And as we presented with our Indo-Pacific strategy, just last year, we’re very serious about building closer ties with India,” the Canadian prime minister told reporters.

“At the same time, obviously, as a rule of law country, we need to emphasise that India needs to work with Canada to ensure that we get the full facts of this matter,” he added, referring to the Nijjar issue.

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Trudeau further stated that the US has given its assurance that the allegations made against India in Nijjar’s murder will be raised by Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a meeting with his Indian counterpart in Washington DC on Thursday.

“The Americans have been with us in speaking to the Indian government about how important it is that they be involved in following up on the credible allegations that agents of the Indian government killed a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil,” stated Trudeau.

“This is something that all democratic countries, all countries that respect the rule of law need to take seriously. We are moving forward in a thoughtful, responsible way anchored in the rule of law with all of our partners including in our approach to the Government of India,” he said.

However, there was no mention of the killing of Nijjar during the meeting of India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his US counterpart in Washington DC.

WATCH | Trudeau: Canada shared intelligence on murder with India weeks ago

Investigation ‘ongoing’ into murder of Nijjar, says Canadian police

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said that an “active and ongoing investigation” is being carried out into the killing of Khalistani terrorist and chief of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) of RCMP is investigating the killing of Nijjar.

“We are aware of reports being made regarding the homicide of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. As this remains an active and ongoing investigation, I’m unable to comment on specific evidence collected by IHIT,” said IHIT spokesperson Sergeant Timothy Pierotti, while speaking to Indian news agency PTI. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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