Amid the ongoing tension between India and Canada, the government of India expelled a senior Canadian diplomat based in India. The diplomat will have to leave India within five days.
A statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs said, “The High Commissioner of Canada to India was summoned today and informed about the decision of the Government of India to expel a senior Canadian diplomat based in India. The concerned diplomat has been asked to leave India within the next five days.”
“The decision reflects government of India’s growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities”, the ministry added.
This comes after a series of developments between India and Canada concerning the killing of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in Parliament that Canadian intelligence agencies have been looking into the allegations after Nijjar, a strong supporter of an independent Sikh homeland known as Khalistan, was gunned down on June 18 outside a Sikh cultural center in Surrey, British Columbia.
The government of Canada also expelled an Indian diplomat on Monday, alleging that India’s government may have had links to the assassination Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada.
The MEA on Tuesday issued a statement rejecting the claims made by Trudeau and foreign minister in their Parliament.
MEA, in its statement, said, “We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian prime minister”. It further said that any allegations of the involvement of the government of India in any act of violence in Canada were absurd and motivated.
In a strongly-worded statement, the ministry also added, “Such unsubstantiated allegations seek to shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The inaction of the Canadian government on this matter has been a long-standing and continuing concern.”
It further said that Canadian political figures openly expressing sympathy for such elements remains a matter of deep concern and the space given in Canada to a range of illegal activities including murders, human trafficking, and organised crime is not new.