April 20, 2024

India expels senior Canada diplomat after a row

A diplomatic row erupted between India and Canada over the killing of controversial Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada.

India and Canada both expelled diplomats after a row over killing of a controversial Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada.

India and Canada both expelled diplomats after a row over killing of a controversial Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada.

India has expelled a Canadian diplomat with a five-day deadline to leave the country following a diplomatic row over the killing of a Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen. This is a tit-for-tat move after Canada decided to expel an Indian diplomat. Earlier, Canadian foreign affairs minister Mélanie Joly informed that she has ordered the expulsion of “a senior Indian diplomat.” 

In his speech to the House of Commons, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the Government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar.” 

Trudeau further said, “Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty. It is contrary to the fundamental rules by which free, open, and democratic societies conduct themselves.

“As you would expect, we have been working closely and co-ordinating with our allies on this very serious matter.”

Responding to the allegations, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) released a statement refuting all allegations of the country’s link to any violence in Canada.  

The statement read, “We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister. Allegations of Government of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated. Similar allegations were made by the Canadian Prime Minister to our Prime Minister, and were completely rejected.

“We are a democratic polity with a strong commitment to rule of law. Such unsubstantiated allegations seek to shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The inaction of the Canadian Government on this matter has been a long-standing and continuing concern.”

“That Canadian political figures have openly expressed sympathy for such elements remains a matter of deep concern. The space given in Canada to a range of illegal activities including murders, human trafficking, and organised crime is not new.

“We reject any attempts to connect Government of India to such developments. We urge the Government of Canada to take prompt and effective legal action against all anti-India elements operating from their soil.” 

The expulsion of the Canadian and Indian diplomats is a significant escalation in the diplomatic row between the two countries. However, It is unclear how this will impact the relationship between India and Canada in the long term. 

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