Nijjar case: Trudeau says Canada shared evidence with India ‘many weeks ago’
New Delhi should ‘commit constructively with Ottawa to establish the facts’
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau (R) with Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky in Ottawa on September 22, 2023. (Photo by DAVE CHAN/AFP via Getty Images)
PRIME minister Justin Trudeau has said Canada shared with India “many weeks ago” evidence that it may have been behind the killing of Khalistan separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil.
Canada wants New Delhi to commit constructively with Ottawa to establishing the facts in the “very serious matter,” he said
Trudeau, however, did not elaborate on the evidence that he says has been shared with India.
“Canada has shared the credible allegations that I talked about on Monday with India. We did that many weeks ago…We hope that they engage with us so that we can get to the bottom of this very serious matter. That’s important,” he said at a press conference with the visiting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday (22).
“And what we are asking is for India, to commit constructively with Canada to establish the facts on this situation. We’re there to work with them. And we have been for weeks now,” Trudeau said in response to a question.
Asked about Canada sharing any information in the case with India, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) in New Delhi said: “No specific information has been shared by Canada on this case, either then or before or after. We have, you know, as we have said, or I think we have made very clear, we are willing to look at any specific information.”
“We have conveyed this to the Canadian side and made it clear to them that we are willing to look at any specific information that is provided to us. But so far we have not received any such specific information,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in New Delhi.
Tensions flared between India and Canada last week following Trudeau’s explosive allegations of the “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani extremist Nijjar on his country’s soil on June 18 in British Columbia.
India had designated Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020.
India angrily rejected the allegations as “absurd” and “motivated” and expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move to Ottawa’s expulsion of an Indian official over the case.
Trudeau said Canada is working with its partners over the matter.
US Ambassador to Canada David Cohen also confirmed that “shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners” had informed Trudeau of the possible involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Nijjar.
This is the first admission by any US government official about the sharing of intelligence by Five Eyes partners with Canada even when there were multiple unofficial and non-official reports about the same, CTV News channel reported.