IBNS: Amid a diplomatic standoff between Ottawa and New Delhi over the killing of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a senior Canadian journalist has said Canada had failed to stop the “glorification of terrorism” in the country.
While speaking to India Today TV, Terry Milewski explained that the “real issue” with Trudeau’s statement was the “complete lack of evidence”.
When asked why Trudeau may have publicly made such allegations during an ongoing investigation, Milewski said, “He is down in the polls. If there was an election held tomorrow, the conservatives would almost certainly win.”
Milewski said that the Khalistani movement in Canada, historically, has not been reined in as much as it should be and pointed to the “glorification of terrorism” in the country.
“It is normal to glorify the Air India bomber in a Gurdwara or to celebrate the assassination of Indira Gandhi,” he added.The journalist said that the Canadian police had made no arrests in connection with Nijjar’s murder and still haven’t identified the shooters.
Milewski questioned how Trudeau could make the allegation without evidence.
Meanwhile, India has rejected the allegations made by Canada over the killing of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, in an escalation of the bilateral tension between the two nations.
“Similar allegations were made by the Canadian Prime Minister to our Prime Minister and were completely rejected,” read the statement issued by the MEA.
“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,” read the statement.
“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 the Government of India to such developments,” the statement said.
What did Canadian PM Trudeau allege?
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has alleged that there are “credible allegations of a potential link” between Indian government agents and the killing of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey in the British Columbia area in June.
Soon after Trudeau levelled the allegations against the Indian government in the country’s Parliament, Canada’s foreign minister Mélanie Joly announced the expulsion of a “top Indian diplomat” as a consequence.
India’s befitting reply
In a befitting reply to Ottawa, India has sacked a Canadian diplomat and asked him to leave the country within the next five days.
A statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs reads, “The High Commissioner of Canada to India was summoned today and informed about the decision of the Government of India to expel a senior Canadian diplomat based in India. The concerned diplomat has been asked to leave India within the next five days.
“The decision reflects the Government of India’s growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities.”
Who was Hardeep Singh Nijjar?
Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canada-based pro-Khalistan leader, was shot dead in Surrey city, British Columbia province in June.
He had been a leading figure in the Khalistan separatist movement and was closely associated with Sikhs for Justice (SFJ).
Nijjar was also serving as the president of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey.
Nijjar, a member of the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), was a ‘wanted terrorist’ for his involvement in various acts of violence and subversive activities.