Weighing in on the row with Canada over the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar pointed out the issue of organised crime in Canada that has been on the rise over the years, particularly linked to secessionist forces, violence, and extremism.
Speaking at the Council for Foreign Relations in New York on Tuesday, Jaishankar expressed concerns about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau-led government’s apparent willingness to tolerate such activities for political reasons.
India has been blaming the Canadian government for its soft-handed approach towards pro-Khalistan elements and passing off anti-India activities on its soil as an act of freedom of expression.
The whole situation particularly worsened after reports emerged that one of the members of the Five Eyes shared intelligence inputs with Canada over the alleged role of Indian government agents in the killing of Nijjar.
‘Asking the wrong person’
During the event on Tuesday, when asked about the Five Eyes’ involvement, the Indian minister said, “I’m not part of The Five Eyes, I’m certainly not part of the FBI. So I think you’re asking the wrong person.”
The Five Eyes is an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US, and the UK.
The foreign minister further said that India is open to looking at the proof Canada has against them.
“If you (Canada) have something specific and if you have something relevant, let us know. We are open to looking at it…The picture is not complete without the context in a way.”
Trudeau yet to give proof
Despite Trudeau claiming that they have “credible information” over Indian government agents’ involvement in the killing of Nijjar, it has not provided any proof so far.
“No specific information has been shared by Canada on this case, either then or before or after,” India’s foreign minister spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said.
“We conveyed this to the Canadian side and made it clear to them that we are willing to look at specific information that is provided to us.”
Even Canadian Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre has said that Trudeau is yet to provide proof of India’s alleged involvement and asked him to come clean on the issue.
“The prime minister needs to come clean with all the facts. We need to know all the evidence possible so that Canadians can make judgments on that…The prime minister hasn’t provided any facts. He provided a statement and I want to emphasize that he didn’t tell me anymore in private (than) he told Canadians in public, so we want to see more information,” Poilievre said last week after Trudeau’s explosive allegations in the parliament.
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