India Expels Canadian Diplomat Over Allegations of Sikh Activist’s Murder

The recent expulsion of a senior Canadian diplomat by India has further strained bilateral relations between the two countries. The diplomatic row was triggered by allegations that Indian government agents were involved in the extra-judicial killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a prominent Sikh activist, in Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while not directly accusing India, stated that any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of sovereignty.

India vehemently denied the allegations, calling them “absurd and motivated.” The Indian Foreign Ministry argued that such claims aimed to divert attention from the presence of Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have found shelter in Canada and posed a threat to India’s sovereignty. The ministry also expressed concerns about the Canadian government’s inaction in addressing this long-standing issue.

In response to Canada’s expulsion of a top Indian diplomat, India expelled a senior Canadian diplomat after summoning the Canadian High Commissioner. This retaliatory move was a clear message from India that it will not tolerate interference in its internal affairs and will take decisive action to safeguard its sovereignty.

International Concerns

Canada’s allegations have drawn attention from other countries, with Australia expressing deep concern and the United Kingdom maintaining close contact with Canadian authorities. The international community is closely watching this diplomatic spat and its potential implications for bilateral relations between Canada and India.

The issue of Sikh activism in Canada has been a contentious matter in bilateral ties between the two countries. While Canada recognizes peaceful Sikh activism as a form of free expression, India views it as an endorsement of Sikh separatism, which it considers an infringement on its domestic affairs. This disagreement has complicated Canada’s attempts to strengthen economic ties with India, especially as it seeks to diversify its trade partners and reduce its reliance on China.

Deepening Concerns

India has expressed deep concern over the tolerance shown by Canadian political figures towards illegal activities, including murders, human trafficking, and organized crime. The Indian Foreign Ministry highlighted a float in the Canadian city of Brampton, which glorified violence and vengeance in its depiction of the 1984 assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. India called on Canada to take prompt and effective legal action against all anti-India elements operating from its soil.

Dialogue and Resolution

Prime Minister Trudeau emphasized that he personally raised the issue with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the recent Group of 20 (G20) summit in New Delhi. While the details of their discussion remain undisclosed, it is evident that addressing this diplomatic dispute was a priority for Canada. Both countries must engage in proactive dialogue to resolve their differences and prevent further deterioration of their bilateral relations.

The expulsion of a Canadian diplomat and the allegations surrounding the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar have fueled tensions between India and Canada. The issue of Sikh activism in Canada has become a contentious point, as both countries hold differing views on its implications. It is crucial for India and Canada to find common ground and address these concerns through open dialogue and diplomacy. Failure to do so could have long-lasting consequences for bilateral relations and hinder future cooperation between the two nations.


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