India-Canada row: Justin Trudeau doubles down on claim, says ‘if bigger countries violate law without consequences…’

Nijjar Killing Row: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday reiterated his claim that they had reached out to India in connection with the pro-Khalistan terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s killing. PM Trudeau also said that Canada “will always stand up for the rule of law”.

The statement comes after US State Secretary Antony Blinken had on 10 November said that the US wants to see Canada moving its investigation forward on Hardeep Singh Nijjar and that India needs to help make it happen. Blinken made the statement after the ‘2 2’ meet with India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

“As a friend of both, we think it’s very important that India work with Canada on its investigation, and that they find a way to resolve this difference in a cooperative way,” Blinken had said.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canada had reached out to India “to get into the bottom of this matter” and to allies, including the US, to investigate Canada’s claims about Nijjar’s killing.

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“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 in getting 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.” PM Trudeau reiterated.

“This is something that we are taking very seriously. 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” PM Trudeau added.

Asked about an incident where Indian-origin parliamentarian Chandan Arya invited High Commissioner Sanjay Kumar Verma for an event on Parliament Hill, Trudeau claimed that India had violated the Vienna Convention when over 40 Canadian diplomats were evacuated from the Asian country and relocated to other places, including Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

Terming the move as “disappointing”, Trudeau said, “Think about it from our perspective. We have serious reasons to believe that agents of the government of India could have been involved in the killing of 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. That is of concern to countries around the world.”

“Because if a given country can just decide that their diplomats of another country are no longer protected, that makes International Relations more dangerous and more serious, 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,” he added.

“This is not a fight we want to be having right now. But we will unequivocally always stand up for the rule of law because that’s who Canada is,” Trudeau further said.

Canada-India ties have deteriorated since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused Indian Government and its intelligence agency of orchestrating the assassination of a Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh on Canadian soil in June. PM Trudeau has cited ‘credible’ evidences in their allegations.

India has dismissed the allegations as “absurd.”

Since then, trade talks between the two nations have broken down and India has forced Canada to cut the number of diplomats in the country. India had also suspended visa services to Canada. However, the services resumed later on.


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Updated: 12 Nov 2023, 05:22 PM IST

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