India’s External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, stated that while India has not dismissed the possibility of an investigation, Canada has not shared any evidence regarding the alleged involvement of ‘Indian agents’ in the murder of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, as publicly claimed by Canada. Jaishankar made these remarks during a conversation with journalist Lionel Barber titled ‘How a Billion People See the World’ in London. Amid the ongoing diplomatic tensions between India and Canada, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed last week that Canada seeks no conflict with India but highlighted the potential danger in a world where larger nations can violate international law without consequences.
Addressing the issue, Jaishankar commented, “We believe that Canadian politics has provided a platform for violent and extreme political opinions advocating separatism from India, often through violent means. These individuals have found a place in Canadian politics and are granted the freedom to express their views.”
Jaishankar pointed out that Canadian authorities took no action when there was an attack on the high commission, and diplomats faced intimidation in public. Referring to Canada’s history, including the bombing of an Air India flight, he emphasized the need for responsibility in exercising freedom of speech and expression in a democracy.
Regarding Trudeau’s allegations, Jaishankar noted, “We have discussed this with our counterparts; we have urged them to share any evidence supporting such allegations. We are open to an investigation, but they have not provided any evidence.”
When asked about Hardeep Singh Nijjar and whether Jaishankar considered him a terrorist, the foreign minister remarked, “His track record is evident on social media, and it speaks for itself. I leave it to everyone to form their own judgment, considering his public positions.”
Amidst the India-Canada dispute, over 40 Canadian diplomats were relocated from India following New Delhi’s concerns about an imbalance in the number of diplomats. India accused Canada of interference in its internal affairs due to the higher number of Canadian diplomats present in the country.