Last Updated: September 19, 2023, 23:29 IST
Canada is not trying to provoke India by suggesting its agents were linked to the murder of a Khalistani terrorist but Ottawa wants New Delhi to address the issue properly, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday.
“The government of India needs to take this matter with the utmost seriousness. We are doing that, we are not looking to provoke or escalate,” the Canadian prime minister told reporters, a Reuters report mentioned.
#WATCH | Ottawa: Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau says, “The government of India needs to take this matter with the utmost seriousness. We are doing that, we are not looking to provoke or escalate, we are simply laying out the facts as we understand them and we want to… pic.twitter.com/NyJbdxVJm6— ANI (@ANI) September 19, 2023
Canada’s Fresh Travel Advisory for India Cites Terror Threat
Meanwhile, Canada updated its travel advisory urging its citizens to exercise a “high degree of caution” while travelling to India due to the “threat of terrorist attacks throughout the country”.
The advisory urged its citizens to avoid all travel to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir due to the “unpredictable security situation”. “There is a threat of terrorism, militancy, civil unrest and kidnapping This advisory excludes travelling to or within the Union Territory of Ladakh,” it added.
The advisory said travel to areas within 10 km of the border with Pakistan in Gujarat, Punjab and Rajasthan should be avoided due to the “unpredictable security situation and presence of landmines and unexploded ordnance”. However, the advisory excludes the Wagah border crossing.
Canadian government claimed “risk of terrorism and insurgency” in its advisory and urged its citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Assam and Manipur.
What Canadian PM Justin Trudeau Said?
Trudeau, on Monday, made allegations regarding the Indian government’s hand being behind the June 2023 killing of the Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. He was shot outside a Gurudwara in Surrey, British Columbia on June 18.
India Rejects Canadian PM’s Allegations
India rejected allegations by Canada calling them “motivated” and “absurd”.
“We have seen and rejected the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister. Allegations of the Government of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated. Similar allegations were made by the Canadian Prime Minister to our Prime Minister, and were completely rejected,” the external affairs ministry said in a press release.
White House ‘Deeply Concerned’ by Canadian Allegations
The White House said Tuesday it was “deeply concerned” by Canadian allegations that Indian agents may have been involved in the murder of a Sikh leader in Canada.
“We are deeply concerned about the allegations referenced by Prime Minister (Justin) Trudeau,” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement.
“We remain in regular contact with our Canadian partners. It is critical that Canada’s investigation proceed and the perpetrators be brought to justice,” Watson added.
UK in Contact With Canada Over ‘Serious Allegations’ Against India
Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, James Cleverly said UK is in “contact with Canada” about serious allegations against India.
“All countries should respect sovereignty and the rule of law. We are in regular contact with our Canadian partners about serious allegations raised in the Canadian Parliament. Important that Canada’s investigation runs its course and the perpetrators brought to justice,” wrote James Cleverly on X (formerly Twitter).
All countries should respect sovereignty and the rule of law.We are in regular contact with our Canadian partners about serious allegations raised in the Canadian Parliament.
Important that Canada’s investigation runs its course and the perpetrators brought to justice.
— James Cleverly🇬🇧 (@JamesCleverly) September 19, 2023
Canada Expels Indian Diplomat
Canada further expelled a senior Indian diplomat hours after Trudeau made the allegations. Canadian foreign minister Melanie Joly told Canadian media outlets that her government has expelled a senior Indian diplomat over the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
India Expels Canadian Diplomat
In a retaliatory move, India on Tuesday expelled a senior Canadian diplomat following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s comments and Indian diplomat being removed from Canada. In a video, the Canadian High Commissioner was seen storming out of the Ministry of External Affairs Headquarters.