Canadian-Indian Diplomatic Chaos on the Rise?

According to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, national security agencies are looking into “credible allegations” that “agents of the government of India” were involved in the June assassination of famous Canadian Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia. “Over the past number of weeks, 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.

The prime minister said he expected India to “reiterate that its position on extra-judicial operations in another country is clearly and unequivocally in line with international law.”

Shortly after the news came out that Justing Trudeau accuses India for the killings, the Indian government has dismissed “absurd” charges that it was involved in the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh leader in British Columbia, and has expelled a Canadian diplomat in exchange.

For the diplomatic ties to become even more weird, in exchange for dismissing “absurd” claims that it was complicit in the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh leader in British Columbia, the Indian government has expelled a Canadian diplomat.

“The decision reflects Government of India’s growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters,” it said.

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According to the Indian media, the Canada High Commission’s security was beefed up. Several Central Reserve Police and Delhi Police officers were stationed outside the Canadian High Commission.

G20 Summit in Delhi

Following a difficult two-day Group of 20 meeting that highlighted escalating tensions between Ottawa and New Delhi, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has left India after an aircraft malfunction delayed his departure. According to Canadian media sites, Trudeau left the country on Tuesday, two days later than scheduled, after a mechanical fault with the plane was fixed.

But what was going on in Delhi and what was the real reason behind late departure and why did Justin Trudeau choose to come out with recent allegations against Indian government just days after G20 summit in Delhi?

Relations between India and Canada have been strained on a number of topics, including Ottawa’s decision earlier this month to halt talks on a proposed trade treaty with the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Unlike many other international leaders, Modi did not hold a bilateral meeting with Trudeau during the G20 summit.

However, the duo chatted on the margins of the event, with the Indian government stating in a statement following the meetings that Modi expressed significant concerns about protests by members of the Sikh community in Canada. In June, India chastised Canada over a float in a parade commemorating the 1984 assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her bodyguards, which Sikh separatists saw as glorifying violence.

“They are promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats, damaging diplomatic premises and threatening the Indian community in Canada and their places of worship,” the Indian government said in this week’s statement.

Later, Trudeau told reporters that Canada would always defend “freedom of expression, conscience, and peaceful protest” while combating bigotry.

That statement made by Trudeau did not sit well with Canadians because of the treatment of peaceful trucker protests in Ottawa where riot police was used to destroy truckers property and forcefully remove peaceful protesters from Ottawa streets.

Meanwhile, the prime minister “raised the importance of respecting the rule of law, democratic principles, and national sovereignty” on the sidelines of the G20, according to a readout from Trudeau’s office.

New diplomatic blow came after the Ministry of External Affairs of India decided to expel Canadian diplomat, “the High Commissioner of Canada to India was summoned today and informed about the Government of India’s decision to expel a senior Canadian diplomat based in India.”

The diplomat in question has been advised to leave India within the next five days.”

“The decision reflects the government of India’s growing concern about Canadian diplomats interfering in our internal affairs and their involvement in anti-India activities,” the ministry noted.

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On Monday, the Canadian government also expelled an Indian diplomat, alleging that the Indian government was involved in the death of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada.

According to Canadian Foreign Minister Mlanie Joly, the chief of Indian intelligence in Canada has been expelled as a result of credible allegations that India’s government may have had links to the assassination in Canada of a Sikh activist.

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