Amid the ongoing diplomatic tensions between India and Canada, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar claimed that Canada was giving operating space to terrorists and extremist elements due to "compulsions of its politics". He confirmed that he spoke to National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken about the ongoing standoff that erupted after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India of a role behind the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Jaishankar is currently on a five-day official trip to Washington DC. Thursday's meeting at the State Department was the highest-level interaction between the two countries after the recent G-20 Summit in New Delhi when President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi met. The External Affairs Minister shared India's concerns with America and the latter provided their assessments on it.
Speaking of Canada, Jaishankar today said, "For us, it has certainly been a country where, organized crime from India, mixed with trafficking in people, mixed with cessationism, violence, terrorism. It's a very toxic combination of issues and people, who have found operating space there..." He added that Indian diplomats are unsafe while going to the embassy or consulate in Canada, which "compelled" him to temporarily suspend visa operations.
The Canadian Prime Minister, he said, made some allegations initially privately and then publicly. “Our response to him both in private and public was that his allegation was not consistent with our policy. And if he had, his government had anything relevant specifics, we would look into,” he said. He also acknowledged that there has been a lot between India and Canada on this issue preceding the remarks of the Canadian prime minister.
In Canada, he alleged, extremists and people are openly advocating violence and they have been given operating space in Canada. “I think hopefully we both came out better informed,” Jaishankar said, when asked if the issue of Canadian allegations came up during his meeting with Blinken at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department.