Exposing Terrorism: India Confronts Canada’s Khalistani Charade in the Name of Democracy

by Dr. Jasneet Bedi

Canada, under the leadership of Justin Trudeau, has taken a troubling turn in its approach to dealing with terrorism, particularly Khalistani extremism. The latest evidence of this came on June 18, 2024, when the Canadian Parliament observed a “moment of silence” to mark the first anniversary of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s death. This act not only strained relations with India further but also highlighted the disturbing evolution of Canadian policy towards Khalistani terrorism.

The relationship between Canada and Khalistani extremism reads like an Orwellian script where “war is peace… freedom is slavery… and ignorance is strength.” Under Trudeau’s leadership, a new line seems to have been added: “Terrorism is democracy.” This stark reality has been brewing for decades, tracing its roots back to the 1980s when Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre Trudeau, was in power.

The Khalistani extremist movement found fertile ground in Canada during Pierre Trudeau’s tenure, with the Canadian government often turning a blind eye to India’s concerns about the burgeoning terrorism on Canadian soil. Bill Warden, Canada’s high commissioner to India in the early 1980s, noted in his memoirs that Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had explicitly accused Sikh organizations in Canada of financing violence against India. These accusations were backed by journalist-author Terry Milewski in his book “Blood for Blood: Fifty Years of the Global Khalistan Project,” where he highlighted that Canadian taxpayers’ money was indirectly funding violence against India.

The indifference of Canadian authorities to the Khalistani threat in the 1980s had catastrophic consequences. Talwinder Singh Parmar, a notorious Khalistani terrorist, was on record as early as 1982 predicting that “Indian planes will fall from the sky.” This ominous warning materialized with the 1985 bombing of Air India Flight 182, known as the Kanishka bombing, which resulted in the deaths of 329 people, including 268 Canadian citizens. Despite repeated warnings and clear evidence of Parmar’s violent intentions, Canadian authorities failed to act decisively.

The Kanishka bombing, until the 9/11 attacks, was the deadliest act of terrorism in aviation history. Yet, the global response was muted, and the investigation dragged on for twenty years. The lack of urgency and seriousness in addressing the tragedy, even today, leads many to question how the government is so indifferent when the victims were majorly Canadian citizens. Was it because they were of an Indian origin? Does this then mean that Canada has a different set of rules when it comes to their minorities?

The parallels between the past and present are stark. Just as Parmar operated with impunity despite Indian pleas for his extradition, Nijjar was similarly given free rein in Canada until his death. This persistent failure to confront and curb Khalistani extremism has only emboldened the movement.

India’s response to Canada’s recent actions has been swift and unambiguous. The Indian government has systematically reduced political and economic ties with Ottawa. When the Canadian Parliament chose to honor Nijjar, the Indian Embassy in Vancouver announced a memorial service to commemorate the 39th anniversary of the Kanishka bombing, highlighting the contrast between honoring a terrorist and remembering the victims of terrorism.

The world has largely moved beyond conflating terrorists with freedom fighters, yet Canada, under Trudeau, seems intent on blurring these lines. This approach aligns Canada more closely with pariah states like Pakistan than with the modern, democratic world it purports to belong to.

India must continue to expose the hypocrisy of Canada’s stance on terrorism. By confronting this issue head-on, India can ensure that the global community recognizes the dangers of Canada’s current trajectory. The Trudeau administration must understand that their actions will not go unchallenged. The era of ambiguity and leniency towards Khalistani terrorism must end, and Canada must choose a side in the fight against global terrorism.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Khalsa Vox or its members.

Dr. Jasneet Bedi

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