This explosive allegation, according to the Hill, has emerged amid the Biden administration’s efforts to strengthen ties with India as a crucial ally in countering China. Questions have arisen regarding the US relationship with India’s controversial Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
Reports suggest that the US closely collaborated with Canada in investigating the apparent murder on its territory. President Biden, however, has refrained from making public remarks on the allegations, reflecting the delicate balancing act of supporting Canada without alienating India.
All eyes are now on whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will provide evidence to substantiate his claims and how strained relations between Ottawa and New Delhi will become before US intervention becomes necessary.
Following Trudeau’s public accusations against India, relations between the two nations have deteriorated significantly. Canada has not received public support from its allies, including the United States, as anticipated.
Vivek Dehejia, an economics professor and India-Canada policy expert at Carleton University in Ottawa, commented, “They have been disappointed by the level of support that they have received. If you look carefully at (national security adviser) Jake Sullivan’s recent comments, he’s walking a tightrope because Canada’s very dramatic allegations have put the US and other NATO allies in a bind.”
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan offered a vague statement of support for Canada’s investigative efforts and confirmed US contact with India’s government regarding the matter.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the US is “coordinating” with Canada on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and called for India’s cooperation in the ongoing investigation.
Reports from The Washington Post indicate that senior officials from Canada’s Five Eyes allies, including the US, were informed of the allegations prior to the G20 summit in New Delhi. However, no public comments were made by leaders of the group, which includes the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
The month of the Sikh leader’s assassination coincided with a state visit by Indian Prime Minister Modi to the US. India has long claimed that Canada turns a blind eye to extremist elements, particularly Khalistani secessionists advocating for a separate Sikh homeland in the Punjab region.
Trudeau has faced harsh criticism from former officials in Canada. Omer Aziz, a former foreign policy advisor, argued that Ottawa’s foreign policy initiatives have been driven by domestic diaspora politics, particularly the Sikh diaspora’s importance as liberal voters.
In New Delhi, the Canadian allegations have garnered a unified response from a typically divided political landscape. Even Modi’s main opposition, the Indian National Congress, has backed his government’s stance on Trudeau and Canada, emphasizing the importance of an uncompromising fight against terrorism that threatens India’s sovereignty and unity.
Pressure is mounting on Trudeau to disclose how Canada obtained the intelligence that led to its public accusation against the Indian government. Trudeau has reiterated his claims, stating that Canada had “credible reasons to believe that agents of the government of India were involved in the killing of a Canadian on Canadian soil.”
Reports suggest that Ottawa closely collaborated with the United States on the intelligence assessment, although the White House has not commented on the matter.
While Canada may be unable to reveal the source of its information, it may ultimately fall upon the United States to mediate the escalating dispute, which has resulted in India suspending new visas for Canadians and expelling a Canadian diplomat.