In a tit-for-tat diplomatic maneuver, India has ordered the immediate departure of a high-ranking Canadian diplomat from its soil, in response to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent accusations linking India to the June assassination of a Khalistani terrorist. The identity of the diplomat has not been disclosed, and they have been given a tight timeline of just five days to vacate the country.
India swiftly and categorically dismissed Prime Minister Trudeau’s allegations, asserting that the open expression of sympathy by Canadian political figures towards such elements is a matter of deep concern.
The Indian government released a statement condemning the baseless accusations made by the Canadian Prime Minister, contending that these claims were an attempt to divert attention away from the presence of Khalistani terrorists and extremists who have found refuge in Canada and continue to pose threats to India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Furthermore, India expressed its long-standing dissatisfaction with the Canadian government’s inaction on this pressing issue.
The statement highlighted Canada’s track record in providing a safe haven for a range of illegal activities, including heinous crimes such as murder, human trafficking, and organized crime. India called upon Canada to promptly address and take decisive action against all “anti-India elements” operating within its borders.
One of the key figures at the center of this diplomatic tension is Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the former leader of the Khalistani Tiger Force and the Canadian branch of Sikhs For Justice (SFJ). Nijjar met his demise in June when unidentified assailants attacked him near a gurdwara in Surrey. Originally hailing from Jalandhar in Punjab, India, Nijjar had relocated to Canada in 1997. He was wanted in India for allegedly being the “mastermind” behind the Khalistani Tiger Force, an organization designated as a terror group by the Indian government.
The expulsion of the Canadian diplomat and the escalating tensions between the two nations underscore the complexities and sensitivities surrounding issues related to terrorism, extradition, and bilateral relations. It remains to be seen how this latest diplomatic incident will influence India-Canada relations in the days to come.