Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement, implicating New Delhi in the assassination of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Vancouver, has captured the attention of the global community. The significance of this statement lies in the fact that it was made not by an arch-rival of India, but by a country that was on the brink of signing a substantial trade deal with India.
What makes Trudeau’s statement particularly noteworthy is the timeline involved. Rather than hastily accusing Indian authorities, the Canadian government took approximately three months to make this assertion, after conducting a thorough investigation.
During his address to the Canadian parliament, Prime Minister Trudeau revealed that his country’s national security agencies were probing credible allegations of Indian government agents’ involvement in the killing of a prominent Sikh leader. Trudeau emphasized that he had discussed the matter directly with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the G-20 summit, stressing that any foreign government’s involvement in the murder of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil constitutes an unacceptable violation of sovereignty.
Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a pro-Khalistan Sikh leader and a prominent advocate for an independent Sikh homeland known as Khalistan, was tragically assassinated on June 18 outside a Sikh cultural center in Surrey, British Columbia. Reacting strongly and rightly so, Canada has expelled Indian diplomat Pavan Kumar Rai, identified by Canadian authorities as a member of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the Indian intelligence agency. This confirmation came from Canada’s Foreign Minister, Melanie Joly.
These revelations might come as a surprise to some, but for those in India’s neighbored, this is a well-known fact as this country has a history of interfering in the internal matters of theirs. To achieve its evil designs, the Indian intelligence agency RAW even goes to the extent of supporting and financing the terrorist organizations. There are now several international reports which suggest the nexus between TTP and RAW to perpetrate acts of terrorism in Pakistan especially Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. There are also credible evidence of Indian consulates based in Afghanistan supporting the terrorist outfits against Pakistan. The arrest of Kulbushan Jadhav back in 2016 and his confessional statement should not have left any doubt in anybody’s mind about India’s nefarious designs against Pakistan but regrettable part is that the world did not pay much heed to them, even the dossiers submitted with the United Nations about Indian involvement in acts of terrorism inside Pakistan.
India’s interference has not been limited to Pakistan but has also extended to other smaller countries in the region. For instance, India supported Shanti Bahini guerrillas in Bangladesh for two decades, sowing unrest. It also provided assistance to insurgent elements in Sri Lanka, fueling the civil war, and separatists in Nepal.
In fact the malicious Indian designs know no bounds. A few months back eight retired Indian Naval Officers were arrested in Qatar which are now facing trial in the gulf country. Some Indians were also arrested in UAE on espionage charges.
The killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada also serves as a stark reminder that India’s actions against minorities extend beyond its borders. While the RAW agents can reach Canada to hunt the Sikhs they consider their enemies, the question is what will they be doing with those which are living within their borders? The killing of the Sikh leader highlights the need for a comprehensive examination of the status of minorities in India and a commitment on the part of world community to safeguarding their rights and wellbeing.
Balraj Nijjar, the son of the slain Sikh leader, believes that the Canadian government’s actions represent just the initial step, expressing hope that Prime Minister Trudeau and other Canadian leaders will take a stand. While Trudeau has taken a bold and principled stance, it is essential that the investigation reaches its logical conclusion and is shared with the international community. The involvement of a RAW agent in this cowardly act has been established, but it is not just the perpetrators who should face the law; India should also be held accountable for its crimes against humanity. Ignoring India’s actions may only embolden it to commit more such acts in the future to serve its geopolitical interests.