Last Updated: November 12, 2023, 16:20 IST
Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau once again accused India of violating the Vienna Convention over revoking the diplomatic immunity of more than 40 Canadians. Amid the ongoing diplomatic crisis between the two countries, Trudeau recently spoke about how the whole world gets more dangerous for everyone “if bigger countries violate international law without any consequences”.
On Canada-based Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s killing, which triggered the crisis, Trudeau said: “We have been very clear that we want to work constructively with India on this very serious matter. From the very beginning, we shared the real allegations that we are deeply concerned about but we have reached out to the Indian government and to partners around the world to get to the bottom of this, to take it seriously. That’s why we were so disappointed when India violated the Vienna Convention and arbitrarily revoked the diplomatic immunity of over 40 Canadian diplomats in India…” he said.
Trudeau said there were serious reasons to believe that agents of the Indian government could have been involved in killing Nijjar, who was a Canadian citizen, on Canadian soil. “…And India’s response is to kick out a whole bunch of Canadian diplomats by violating their rights under the Vienna Convention,” Trudeau said.
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Trudeau said New Delhi’s actions were a matter of serious concern because if a country simply decides that diplomats of another country are no longer under protection, it could set a dangerous precedent and puts international relations at peril.
“That is of concern to countries around the world because if a given country can just decide that diplomats of another country are no longer protected, it makes international relations more dangerous and more serious,” Trudeau said.
The prime minister further said Canada has tried to “constructively” work with India every step of the way and does not want to pick a fight. But, he added, that Canada will “unequivocally” stand up for the rule of law.
“But every step of the way, we have tried to work constructively and positively with India, and we will continue to and that means continuing to work with Indian government diplomats. This is not a fight we want to be having right now but we will unequivocally always stand up for the rule of law…”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had said the Canada must move forward with its investigation into Nijjar’s killing, and that India needs to help make it happen. “From the very beginning, when we learned of credible allegations that agents of the Indian government were involved in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil, we reached out to India to ask them to work with us to get to the bottom of this matter. We also reached out to our friends and allies like the US and others to work on this really serious violation of international law and of sovereignty of a democracy. This is something that we are taking very seriously,” he said.
He added: “We will continue to work with all partners as law enforcement and investigative agencies continue to do their work. Canada is a country that will always stand up for the rule of law because if might starts to make right again, if bigger countries can violate international law without consequences, then the whole world gets more dangerous for everyone.”