‘Will unequivocally stand up for rule of law’: Justin Trudeau on India-Canada row

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has once again reiterated his allegation of India’s involvement in the murder of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil and said his country “will always stand up for the rule of law”.

Trudeau said he 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.

“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 it might start to make them right, and if bigger countries can violate international law without consequences, then the whole world gets more dangerous for everyone,” he told reporters.

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.

Ties between India and Canada were strained in September when Trudeau alleged a “potential” involvement of Indian agents” in Nijjar’s killing. Nijjar, who was wanted in India and the chief of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force, was shot dead by two masked gunmen in June in Surrey in the Canadian province of British Colombia.

Published On:

Nov 12, 2023

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