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Business News/ News / World/  Canada's Intelligence agency report flags India as ‘foreign threat’, urges ‘need to protect…’

Canada's Intelligence agency report flags India as ‘foreign threat’, urges ‘need to protect…’

Canadian Security Intelligence Service's declassified document reveals that India has been marked as 'foreign interference threat' in Canadian elections. India is accused of election interference in Canada for the first time, joining China and Russia facing charges of meddling in Canadian politics.

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (AP)Premium
Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (AP)

Canadian Security Intelligence Service's declassified document to Canadian government shows that the authorities had marked India as a 'foreign interference threat' that could potentially interfere in Canadian elections. 

The Canadian intelligence agency report mentions “India engages in Foreign Interference activities." According to a report by Global News, that accessed the declassified documents, almost three pages of the report were devoted to India, although they were entirely redacted except for a single sentence that claimed India engages in Foreign Interference activities. 

The Canadian intelligence report points to the need for “clearly articulated strategies," and said raising awareness and briefing officials and politicians was “central to these efforts."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had ordered the inquiry of foreign interference in attempting to sway Canadian elections after media reports flagged Chinese activities.

The declassified document, dated 24 February 2023, is titled, “Briefing to the Minister of Democratic Institutions on Foreign Interference." It called China “by far the most significant threat."

The intelligence report advised PM Justin Trudeau's government to “do more to protect Canada’s robust democratic institutions and processes."

India and China were the countries that were named as threat in the report. “We know that the People's Republic of China sought to clandestinely and deceptively influence the 2019 and 2021 federal elections," the report stated. 

This is the first time India has been accused of election interference in Canada. China and Russia were already facing charges of meddling in Canadian politics.

Foreign interference is different from traditional diplomacy since it used secrecy and deception to influence public narratives and policy-making, Global News cited the report as saying.

Bloomberg quoted an official informing that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government will be investigated — according to a statement, the inquiry has requested information and documents related to alleged election interference.

Justin Trudeau stunned the world in September when he accused India of orchestrating the June 2023 murder of a pro-Khalistan leader Hardeep Singh on Canadian soil. Masked assailants had gunned down Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian who was designated a terrorist by India.

The allegation upended Canada-India relations. PM Modi’s administration forcefully denied the claim, calling it “absurd and motivated." 

India temporarily suspended visas for Canadians and threatened to revoke the immunity of two-thirds of Canada’s diplomats, forcing them to leave India. Trade talks between India and Canada have been on pause for months.

However, Canada’s claim appeared to be reinforced in November when federal prosecutors in the US accused an Indian government agent of directing a thwarted plot to kill another Sikh separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in New York. India struck a more cooperative tone with the US, saying it had convened a committee to look into the allegations.

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Published: 03 Feb 2024, 12:27 PM IST
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