The ministry of external affairs (MEA) on Tuesday said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s claims that India was involved in the killing of Khalistani separatist terrorist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar were ‘absurd’ and ‘motivated’. The Canadian government also expelled a senior India diplomat over the matter.
“Allegations of the Government of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated,” the Union ministry of external affairs said in a press release.
“We have seen and rejected the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister. Similar allegations were made by the Canadian Prime Minister to our Prime Minister, and were completely rejected,” the MEA further added.
Canadian PM Trudeau told the House of Commons that he raised the issue of so-called ‘foreign interference’ with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his meeting with him on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.
VIDEO | Canada expelled a top Indian diplomat Monday alleging that India’s government may have had links to the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada. pic.twitter.com/z2fO0TdDwg— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) September 19, 2023
“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 Nijar. Last week at the G20, I brought them personally and directly to Prime Minister Modi in no uncertain terms. Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” Trudeau claimed while addressing the House of Commons.
The government responded by saying that India is ‘democratic polity’. “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 MEA further added.
“We reject any attempts to connect the Government of India to such developments,” the MEA said.
The MEA also expressed concern that Canadian political figures have in previous instances expressed sympathy for elements threatening India’s sovereignty.
“The space given in Canada to a range of illegal activities including murders, human trafficking and organised crime is not new. We urge the Government of Canada to take prompt and effective legal action against all anti-India elements operating from their soil,” the MEA further added.