Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a prominent Sikh leader who advocated for Khalistan, an independent Sikh homeland. Nijjar, the head of the Canadian chapter of the Khalistan Referendum and an active member of the Sikhs For Justice group, was assassinated outside a Sikh cultural centre in Surrey, Vancouver, Canada.
During a recent parliamentary session, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau highlighted shocking information concerning Nijjar’s death. He revealed that substantiated suspicions are pointing towards the involvement of the Indian government in this brutal assassination.
Canadian Government’s Response and International Repercussions
Trudeau shared that, for several weeks, Canadian security agencies have been investigating the plausible connection between Indian government agents and the murder of Nijjar. This revelation, describing it as a “very serious matter”, was made post consultations with opposition party leaders.
In response to these allegations, Mélanie Joly, the Canadian Foreign Minister, noted that the chief of Indian intelligence operations in Canada has been expelled. This move signifies Canada’s stern stance against what could be a gross violation of international relations protocols if the allegations are proven true. The matter has raised significant concerns regarding the sanctity of Canadian sovereignty and the norms governing international relations.
In light of Trudeau’s statement, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a close associate of Nijjar and an Attorney at Law in New York, emphasized the need for stringent actions against the Indian diplomats involved. He urged for the expulsion of the Indian High Commissioner to Canada, asserting that this incident corroborates the SFJ’s earlier suspicions about Indian agencies orchestrating the killing. Pannun has called for a ‘Shaheed Nijjar Referendum’ to be held in Surrey as a homage to the late leader.
Furthermore, Pannun hailed this revelation as a victory for the Sikh community, emphasizing their commitment to peaceful and democratic avenues of protest against what they perceive as acts of terror perpetrated by the Indian government.
Diplomatic Relations Put to Test
Trudeau has brought this serious issue to the attention of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, emphasizing that any involvement of the Indian government would be deemed entirely unacceptable. Trudeau urged the Indian government to cooperate fully in the ongoing investigation, emphasizing that such involvement represents an affront to Canada’s sovereignty.
Moreover, Trudeau acknowledged the brewing discontent and fear within the Indo-Canadian community, urging peace and calm during this period. On the international front, he noted that Canadian security personnel are coordinating with their global counterparts to ensure a thorough investigation.
As this event unfolds, it has strained the already tense relations between Canada and India, leading to the cancellation of a planned trade mission to India this fall. Opposition leaders have also expressed their dismay over this incident, criticizing it as an unacceptable violation of Canadian sovereignty and an outrageous assault on human rights.
In a significant demonstration of solidarity, over 135,000 Canadian Sikhs recently gathered at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, where Nijjar was killed, to cast their votes in the Khalistan Referendum. This massive gathering and Pannun’s fierce address showcase the Sikh community’s united front in seeking justice for Nijjar and their continued fight for Khalistan.