Went public to deter India from continuing, says Trudeau on Nijjar allegations | World News


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that his statement on September 18 in the House of Commons about “credible allegations” linking Indian agents to the killing of pro-Khalistan figure Hardeep Singh Nijjar was meant to deter New Delhi from continuing such actions in the country.

Trudeau said the statement was made because “too many Canadians were worried that they were vulnerable”. (File)
Trudeau said the statement was made because “too many Canadians were worried that they were vulnerable”. (File)

In an interview with the agency Canadian Press, Trudeau said, “We felt that all the quiet diplomacy and all the measures that we put in, and ensured that our security services put in to keep people safe in the community, needed a further level of deterrence, perhaps of saying publicly and loudly that we know, or we have credible reasons to believe, that the Indian government was behind this.”

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He added, “And, therefore, put a chill on them continuing or considering doing anything like this.”

He said the statement was made because “too many Canadians were worried that they were vulnerable”.

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Trudeau also indicated Canada will reveal evidence behind the allegations of the Indian connection to Nijjar’s killing on June 18 in Surrey, but later. Referring to the indictment in a US federal court of an Indian national to an alleged plot to kill Sikhs for Justice or SFJ general counsel Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and why Canada has not made similar information public, Trudeau said, “Canada is investigating a murder and there are different stakes involved in that and our justice system has different processes.” But, he said, that was “unfolding”.

India has constituted a high-level probe committee on the American charges, but dismissed similar requests from Ottawa. India has argued the US has provided it with specific inputs and Canada hasn’t.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar said in Parliament last week, “So the question of equitable treatment to two countries, one of whom has provided inputs and one of whom has not, does not arise.”

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Trudeau also said he had raised the Nijjar issue when he met his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi for a bilateral during the G20 summit in New Delhi in September, but that did not prove to be a constructive conversation.

He also accused India of launching an information war. “They chose to attack us and undermine us with a scale of misinformation and disinformation in their media that was comical,” he said.

There was no response from the ministry of external affairs in New Delhi to Trudeau’s latest remarks. New Delhi has repeatedly raised the issue of Canada-based Khalistani separatists with Ottawa, but without much result. While the movement for an independent Sikh state is all but dead in India, it has been kept alive in some parts of the world such as Canada by fringe groups. At the peak of the movement, Khalistani terrorists were behind what remains the worst instance of terror in Canada, the bombing of Air India Flight 182 from Montreal to Bombay in 1985 that killed 329 people including 268 Canadian citizens.

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