US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has urged India to join forces with Canada, aiding in the probe surrounding the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian advocate for Sikh separatism.
In a turn of events last June, Nijjar met his demise near Vancouver. Accusations have surfaced, suggesting a possible nexus between the killing and Indian governmental operatives.
Blinken accentuated the significance of transparency and responsibility by addressing the media during the UN General Assembly. “Ensuring a meticulous investigation is paramount. Accountability in this grave matter of transnational repression cannot be overlooked,” Blinken stated.
Previously, Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, had beckoned India to facilitate the inquiry, hinting at the potential involvement of Indian authorities in the unfortunate event.
The Tangled Diplomatic Web
Nijjar, while holding Canadian citizenship, had been on India’s radar due to alleged terror affiliations and purported conspiracy plans. His known ties with the Khalistan movement, championing an independent Sikh nation, further spotlighted him.
As a countermeasure to these claims, India executed diplomatic reshuffling, marking a reduction in its embassy workforce within Canada and hitting a pause on visa provisions. Such moves prompted the US, keen on nurturing its Indo-American bond, to voice apprehensions.
Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, previously asserted that India wouldn’t be granted any exemptions in this context. Even amidst the cordial state visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted by President Joe Biden, the gravity of the situation remained unshaken.
Addressing the potential implications of this event on US-India ties, Sullivan reinforced America’s commitment to its core values, undeterred by the stature of the nation in question.
Strengthening US-Canada Bonds
On its part, Canada remains steadfast in its quest to unearth any tangible links of Indian official agents to the assassination, maintaining open channels with its US counterpart.
Brushing aside notions of a possible US-Canada discord, Sullivan underlined the mutual determination of both nations to witness a comprehensive investigation and deliver justice. “The depth of our concerns is profound. We stand united in ensuring a just resolution and accountability for the culprits,” he concluded.