As the matter turned grave following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s alleged India’s potential link in the killing of a Khalistani leader, it seems the statement backfired Ottawa as Trudeau said he was not trying to provoke New Delhi but rather wanted his Indian counterpart to address the issue properly.
“The government of India needs to take this matter with the utmost seriousness. We are doing that, we are not looking to provoke or escalate,” news agency Reuters quoted the Canadian PM as saying to reporters on Tuesday.
The statement from Washington came after Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said the expelled Indian diplomat was the head of Indian intelligence in Canada and added her PM also raised the matter with US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
“We are deeply concerned about the allegations referenced by Prime Minister Trudeau. We remain in regular contact with our Canadian partners. It is critical that Canada’s investigation proceed and the perpetrators be brought to justice,” White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement released on Tuesday.
Canadian PM Trudeau raised issue of Nijjar’s killing during bilateral meeting with Modi
The major development between the two nations came as PM Trudeau, who had recently visited New Delhi for the G20 Summit where he held a bilateral meeting with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, alleged that Canadian intelligence agencies have “credible” information about the involvement of New Delhi in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Even, while addressing the Canadian Parliament on Monday, Trudeau claimed that he had raised the issue with PM Modi during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in New Delhi.
Subsequently, Canadian FM announced the expulsion of an Indian diplomat. Soon after her announcement, India released a statement where it condemned the “baseless” allegations levelled by PM Trudeau.
“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,” it wrote in a statement issued earlier today.