Canada has hurled accusations against India, deepening the diplomatic tension. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau believes that India played a role in Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s assassination on Canadian soil. As retaliation, both countries threw out senior diplomats. Therefore, relations between the two nations have seen a severe plummet.
Recently, Trudeau announced further investigation into the matter. He insisted credible evidence exists, possibly linking India to Nijjar’s murder. Trudeau, determined to hold accountable the responsible parties, confirmed the expulsion of an Indian diplomat. Canada’s foreign affairs minister, Mélanie Joly, identified this individual as the chief of Indian intelligence in Canada.
In response, India asked a senior Canadian diplomat to leave the country within five days. They expressed profound concern over Canadian diplomats’ perceived interference in India’s internal matters. India, however, rejected Trudeau’s claims, terming them as “absurd” and “motivated”.
Nijjar was a renowned Sikh leader in Canada, who advocated for the creation of a separate Sikh homeland. Known as Khalistan, India deems it a national security threat and illegal. Nijjar consistently protested against the ongoing human rights violations in India. So, his death, allegedly by masked gunmen outside a Sikh temple, caused an uproar within the Sikh community in Canada.
Meanwhile, the US and Australia are keenly observing the situation. Both nations expressed their deep concerns and urged for a thorough investigation. Tensions between India, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Canada seem volatile. Their ongoing trade negotiations have been paused due to “serious concerns”. Consequently, the diplomatic fallout doesn’t seem to be dying down anytime soon. The concern over activism within Canada’s large Sikh diaspora also adds to the strained relations between the two countries.
This escalating tension is also impacting the Indian diaspora in Australia. They are a valued part of Australia’s multicultural society. Thus, every development in this case will inevitably affect them too.