WASHINGTON: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he senses a change in India’s tone with Ottawa after the United States warned New Delhi about its involvement in a thwarted plot to kill a Sikh separatist leader on US soil, the CBC reported.
“I think there is a beginning of an understanding that they can’t bluster their way through this and there is an openness to collaborating in a way that perhaps they were less open before,” Trudeau said in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
“There’s an understanding that maybe, maybe just churning out attacks against Canada isn’t going to make this problem go away,” he added.
Trudeau announced September 18 that Canadian intelligence agencies were pursuing credible allegations linking Indian government agents to the murder of a Sikh separatist leader, 45-year-old Hardeep Singh Nijjar, in British Columbia in June, upending diplomatic ties between the two nations.
The US Justice Department in November charged a man accused of orchestrating an unsuccessful plot to assassinate a Sikh separatist – a US citizen of Indian origin living in New York City, alleging that an Indian government official directed the plan. US officials did not name the targeted person.
After the US revelations, Canadian officials pressed India to cooperate in its investigation of the June murder, which drew renewed attention to the movement for a Sikh homeland in northern India.
New Dehli had angrily rejected Canada’s claim, sparking a diplomatic row, with both sides expelling diplomats and trade talks potentially destabilized. By contrast, India said it was taking the US indictment seriously and investigating.
Both the United States and Canada are seeking to build better ties with India to counter Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
“We don’t want to be in a situation of having a fight with India right now over this. We want to be working on that trade deal. We want to be advancing the Indo-Pacific strategy,” Trudeau told the CBC.
“But it is foundational for Canada to stand up for people’s rights, for people’s safety, and for the rule of law. And that’s what we’re going to do,” Trudeau said. Reuters
Please visit our website London Institute of Peace Research for latest peace news