India’s Foreign Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, addressed the situation regarding the killing of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar during a recent statement. On Tuesday, he conveyed that India had communicated its willingness to thoroughly examine any specific and pertinent information provided by Canada in relation to this matter.
This response came after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement last week, where he claimed that Ottawa possessed credible intelligence linking Indian agents to the murder. This initial assertion had triggered a strong reaction from New Delhi, which vehemently denied the allegations.
Speaking about these allegations during a Council on Foreign Relations event in New York, Jaishankar elucidated on India’s diplomatic engagements. He emphasized two key points in India’s response. Firstly, he clarified that the alleged involvement of Indian agents does not reflect the official policy of the Indian government. Secondly, he conveyed that India had extended an invitation to Canada, urging them to share any specific and relevant information they might possess for further examination.
In response to these developments, India took certain actions, including the suspension of new visa issuances for Canadians and requesting Ottawa to reduce its diplomatic presence within India. This move was justified by India on the grounds of a deteriorating security environment.
Jaishankar also shed light on India’s longstanding concerns regarding the presence of organized criminal elements, alluding to individuals like Nijjar. He mentioned that India had submitted numerous extradition requests in this regard. He further explained that it is crucial to consider the broader context, noting that Canada has witnessed a rise in organized crime activities, including those linked to secessionist movements, violence, extremism, and organized criminal networks.
International allies of Canada, including the United States, have expressed cautious concern over these claims and have urged India to cooperate with Canada’s ongoing investigation. The U.S. ambassador to Canada disclosed that some information related to the case had been gathered through the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, comprising the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.