Amid an escalating row following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegations on India of killing a Sikh terrorist in Canada, Canadian Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre has said that Trudeau needs to come clean and present all the evidence.
Speaking in the Canadian Parliament on Monday, Trudeau said there were "credible allegations" that Indian agents were involved in the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada earlier this month. Nijjar is a designated terrorist in India and is the chief of Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), which is also a designated terrorist organisation.
Following Trudeau's comments, Canada expelled a senior Indian diplomat from the Indian mission and outed him as the chief of Indian spy agency in Canada. With these two incidents, the India-Canada relations nosedived to a new low, which had already been precarious for years. In a tit-for-tat reaction, India also expelled a Canadian diplomat in New Delhi said to be from the Canadian intelligence agency. India rejected Trudeau's allegations.
A day after Trudeau spoke in the Parliament, Canadian Opposition Leader Poilievre said that Trudeau needs to come clean and present all the evidence.
Earlier, after Trudeau made the allegations against India, Poilievre had said that the government had shared their assessment with him and added that "if these allegations are true, they represent an outrageous affront to Canada's sovereignty".
Later, Poilievre said he was not told anything privately that Trudeau had not shared publicly and was not provided any evidence.
"The prime minister needs to come clean with all the facts. We need to know all the evidence possible so that Canadians can make judgments on that...The prime minister hasn’t provided any facts. He provided a statement and I want to emphasize that he didn’t tell me any more in private (than) he told Canadians in public, so we want to see more information," said Poilievre, as per National Post.
Poilievre, the Leader of the Conservative Party, said there would be “real” risk if Trudeau refuses to provide more information or if the allegations turn out to be inaccurate, according to The Post.
Poilievre also raised the issue of the Chinese interference in Canadian politics. For a long time, the Canada-China relations were tense over detentions of their nationals and alleged interference and spying. Poilievre said, as per The Post, that Trudeau “said nothing and did nothing” regarding Chinese interference in Canadian affairs for years.
"The Conservative leader also said Trudeau “said nothing and did nothing” regarding Chinese interference in Canadian affairs for years, even while Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were imprisoned in China, comparing it to Trudeau’s sudden action following allegations against India for the extrajudicial killing," reported The Post about Poilievre, who is the Conservative contender for Prime Minister of Canada's post.
The Khalistan movement has been the principal bone of contention between India and Canada. The movement seeks to carve out a separate homeland for the Sikhs called Khalistan out of India. For decades, the movement waged a bloody insurgency that finally ebbed in 1990s. While the insurgency has ebbed in India, the movement has found a safe haven in Canada where Trudeau and his allies have been soft on Khalistan and have attended their events and have cordially engaged with Khalistani terrorists and events.
Earlier this month, Trudeau was snubbed by India during the G20 Summit. Following a tense meeting between him and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Indian government issued a chilling readout that said, "He [Modi] conveyed our strong concerns about continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada. They are promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats, damaging diplomatic premises, and threatening the Indian community in Canada and their places of worship. The nexus of such forces with organized crime, drug syndicates and human trafficking should be a concern for Canada as well. It is essential for the two countries to cooperate in dealing with such threats."
Trudeau's humiliation further escalated when he was stranded in New Delhi for four days as his Canadian plane developed a glitch that took two days to be repaired. This was Trudeau's second visit to India in which he was snubbed. Earlier in 2018, the government as well as the Opposition Congress-ruled Punjab state government had snubbed Trudeau reputedly and the visit was widely reported to be a disaster.