US-based senior Defence Analyst Derek J. Grossman on Tuesday said Canada’s allegations regarding the Indian government’s involvement in the fatal shooting of Khalistan Tiger Force chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada “could be most significant test of strength of US-India partnership since early 2000s.”
The National security and Indo-Pacific analyst at RAND Corporation, an American nonprofit global policy think tank, posted on X: “Canada’s bombshell accusation today against India could be most significant test of strength of US-India partnership since early 2000s. That said, US will pull out all the stops to keep India close by its side to help counter China, which could mean staying out of this mess.”
An economics professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, Vivek Dehejia termed Canada’s allegations against India ‘explosive’.
In a post on X he said, “These are explosive allegations by Trudeau against India, as yet unproven. The already frayed bilateral relationship will take a nose dive, and the Indo-Canadian diaspora will be riven by this. Best for all of us to take a pause till the fact are known.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday accused the Indian government of being behind the fatal shooting of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Najjar, who was wanted in India, was gunned down outside a Gurdwara, in a parking area in Canada’s Surrey, British Columbia on June 18.
Hailing from Bharsinghpur village in Punjab’s Jalandhar, Nijjar was based in Surrey and had been declared “absconder” by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Meanwhile, South Asia Institute Director at the Wilson Center, Michael Kugelman, has said Canada’s allegations against India are a “reflection of a highly fraught relationship.”
“The Canadians didn’t go about this quietly. Trudeau made the direct accusation while speaking before the House of Commons, and his government publicly identified an Indian diplomat it expelled as the head of Indian intel in Canada,” Kugelman wrote on ‘X’ on Tuesday.
Canadian PM Trudeau on Monday (US local time) claimed that his country’s national security officials had reasons to believe that “agents of the Indian government” carried out the killing of the Canadian citizen, who also served as the president of Surrey’s Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara.
“Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the Government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar,” Trudeau said.
He stated that the involvement of a foreign hand or government in the killing of a Canadian citizen in Canada was unacceptable.
“Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty. It is contrary to the fundamental rules by which free, open, and democratic societies conduct themselves,” Trudeau added.
India on Tuesday rejected the allegations by Trudeau regarding the Indian government’s involvement in the fatal shooting of Khalistan Tiger Force chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada. In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) termed the allegations ‘absurd ‘and ‘motivated’.
“We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister” said the MEA in an official statement.
“Allegations of the Indian government’s “involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated” the release added.
“Similar allegations were made by the Canadian Prime Minister to our Prime Minister and were completely rejected. India is a democratic polity with a strong commitment to the rule of law,” said the official release.