In a recent poll conducted by Nanos Research and commissioned by CTV News, it has been revealed that a majority of Canadians are advocating for a diplomatic approach to ease tensions between Canada and India regarding the killing of Khalistani hardliner Hardeep Singh Nijjar. More than 50 percent of respondents expressed their desire for Canada to engage in diplomatic talks rather than escalate the situation.
The poll, which sampled 1,058 Canadians, found that a substantial 57 percent of respondents favored reducing tensions and seeking diplomatic solutions to the complex issue. The incident in question occurred outside a gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18, leading to strained relations between the two nations.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s accusation that India played a role in Nijjar’s killing last month had significant repercussions, including the expulsion of diplomats and New Delhi dismissing the charges as “absurd.” The poll indicates that approximately one in four respondents wish for Canada to further investigate the accusations, while 11 percent believe Canada should adopt a patient approach and refrain from immediate actions.
Interestingly, regional differences were observed in the poll’s results. Residents in Quebec province were more inclined (65 percent) towards engaging in tension-reducing measures, while those in British Columbia leaned towards diplomatic talks (50.3 percent).
Furthermore, the survey highlighted that a significant majority of Canadians, 74 percent in total, either believe (47 percent) or somewhat believe (27 percent) Prime Minister Trudeau’s statement regarding intelligence that implicates India in Nijjar’s killing. However, nearly one in five respondents expressed doubts, with 10 percent stating that they do not believe and 8 percent somewhat do not believe Prime Minister Trudeau’s claims.
Amidst these tensions, a report from the Financial Times revealed that Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly held a secret meeting with India’s Minister of External Affairs, S. Jaishankar, in Washington last month in an effort to resolve the diplomatic row. Joly emphasized the importance of diplomacy, noting that conversations are more effective when they remain private. She pledged to continue taking the same approach in dealing with India.
Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the chief of the banned terrorist organization Khalistan Tiger Force, was wanted in India for his alleged links to terrorist activities and his role in spearheading the Khalistan referendum vote in Canada. He was designated as a terrorist in 2020.
As tensions persist, Canadians are looking to their leaders to find diplomatic solutions to this complex and sensitive issue, emphasizing the importance of maintaining peaceful and constructive relations with India.