Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
The Prime Minister of Canada asks India to cooperate in an investigation into the killing of a Sikh separatist leader
Published on: September 22, 2023: 02:23 AM GST Last updated: September 22, 2023: 03:03 AM GST
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked India on Thursday to cooperate in an investigation into the killing of a Sikh separatist leader in British Columbia in Canada, and said that his country would not reveal the evidence in its possession.
Trudeau said on Monday that Ottawa had credible evidence linking Indian government agents to the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nigar in June, angering New Delhi. Nigar (45 years old) held Canadian citizenship.
Hardeep Singh Nigar
Canada’s traditional allies have taken a relatively cautious stance on the issue so far. Analysts say this is partly because the United States and other major influencers view India as a counterweight to China’s growing influence.
Trudeau said at a press conference in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meetings: “There is no doubt that India is a country of increasing importance and a country with which we need to continue working… We do not wish to provoke or cause problems… but our position is clear on the importance of the rule of law and on the importance of Protecting Canadians.”
He added: “We therefore appeal to the government of India to work with us in developing procedures to discover and uncover the truth of the issue.”
For its part, the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Canada did not share any specific information about the murder.
Nigar supported the establishment of an independent state for the Sikhs in the name of the “Khalistan” state on the territory of Indian Punjab, and India classified him as a “terrorist” in July 2020.
When asked about the timing of Canada’s disclosure of the evidence it possesses, Trudeau replied, “As a country with a strong and independent judicial system, we allow these judicial procedures to unfold themselves with absolute integrity.”
On Thursday, India suspended granting new visas to Canadians and asked Ottawa to reduce its diplomatic representation in the country.
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