Justin Trudeau sees ‘shift’ in Canada-India ties after Pannun murder allegations

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau believes that the dynamics of the relationship with India have shifted amid the Pannun \’murder\’ controversy. Earlier this year, the Canadian leader ignited a diplomatic dispute by suggesting that his country was investigating \’credible allegations\’ linking Indian government agents to the murder of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. These remarks also come in the wake of accusations that an Indian official orchestrated a plot to assassinate a Sikh separatist leader on US soil.

“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. There\’s an understanding that maybe, maybe just churning out attacks against Canada isn\’t going to make this problem go away,\” expressed Trudeau in a recent interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Indian officials vehemently rejected Trudeau\’s assertions as \’absurd,\’ leading to the expulsion of several diplomats in the subsequent weeks.

“I think everybody knows that India is a country where we are very responsible, very prudent on what we do, and the whole issue for us has been that we have always maintained that. If any country, not just Canada, if any country has a concern and gives us some input or some basis for that concern, we are always open to look at it…So we very sincerely have told the Canadians, saying that look, it\’s up to you, I mean your choice whether you would like us to pursue it, further look into it or not,\” commented External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar last week.

Despite Canadian officials pressing for cooperation in their investigation into the June murder, India has not been receptive. In contrast, India has expressed seriousness about the US indictment and is conducting its own investigation. However, EAM Jaishankar emphasized that the recent concerns raised by the US were \’not the same.\’

\”The point was when Americans brought up some issues, and the two issues are not necessarily the same. When they brought up that issue, the Americans told us some specific things. What happens in international relations from time to time is that such challenges can arise,\” added EAM Jaishankar.

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