Justin Trudeau sees ‘shift’ in Canada-India ties after Pannun murder allegations: ‘Attacks aren’t going to…’

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau believes that ties with India have taken a turn amid the Pannun ‘murder’ row.

Livemint
First Published20 Dec 2023
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, walks past India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at Raj Ghat during the G20 Summit in New Delhi
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, walks past India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at Raj Ghat during the G20 Summit in New Delhi(AP)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau believes that ties with India have taken a turn amid the Pannun ‘murder’ row. The Canadian leader sparked a diplomatic row earlier this year after asserting that his country was pursuing ‘credible allegations’ that linked Indian government agents to the murder of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. The remarks also come in the wake of allegations that an Indian official led a plot to murder a Sikh separatist leader on US soil.

“I think there is a beginning of an understanding that they can't bluster their way through this and there is an openness to collaborating in a way that perhaps they were less open before. There's an understanding that maybe, maybe just churning out attacks against Canada isn't going to make this problem go away,” Trudeau told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp during a recent interview.

Indian officials have vehemently rejected the Canadian leader's assertions as ‘absurd’ and several diplomats were expelled in the ensuing weeks. 

ALSO READ: PM Modi breaks silence on allegation of India's plot to assassinate Khalistani separatist Gurpatwant Pannun in US

“I think everybody knows that India is a country where we are very responsible, very prudent on what we do and the whole issue for us has been that we have always maintained that. If any country, not just Canada, if any country has a concern and gives us some input or some basis for that concern, we are always open to look at it…So we very sincerely have told the Canadians saying that look it's up to you, I mean your choice whether you would like us to pursue it, further look into it or not,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said last week. 

Canadian officials have repeatedly pressed New Delhi to cooperate in its investigation of the June murder — without much success. In contrast, India has said it was taking the US indictment seriously and was investigating the matter. The top official however insisted that the recent concerns voiced by the US were ‘not the same’. 

"The point was when Americans brought up some issues and the two issues are not necessarily the same. When they brought up that issue the Americans told us some specific things. What happens in international relations from time to time such challenges can arise," EAM Jaishankar said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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