Amid a diplomatic standoff between India and Canada over the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar said that the Indian government had warned Canada that it was not its “policy“ to engage in such acts. He also said that Canada had seen significant amounts of “organised crime relating to secessionist forces (i.e., supporters of India-related secessionist movements, such as the cause of Khalistan)”.
After Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegations of a "potential" involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia in June, ties between the two countries have plunged to a new low. While Canada has reiterated that it has 'evidence' to prove its allegations, the Indian government has claimed that the allegations are 'absurd' and 'motivated'.
While speaking at an event at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, moderated by former U.S. Ambassador to India, Kenneth Juster, Jaishankar said that if the Canadian government provides specific context and information with respect to the issue, then he would "look into it". "We have been talking about specifics and information...We've given them a lot of information about organized crime and leadership, which operates out of Canada. There are a large number of extradition requests. There are terrorist leaders, who have been identified...," he said.
The External Affairs Minister also said that Indian diplomats have been threatened and consulates attacked, "which is often justified, as saying that's how democracies work. If somebody gives me something specific, it doesn't have to be restricted to Canada. But if there's any incident which is an issue and somebody gives me something specific as a government, I would look at it...," he reiterated.
When specifically asked for a comment on the reports of sharing of intelligence between Five Eyes countries on Nijjar’s killing and that the FBI had warned certain persons about threats to their lives after the incident, Jaishankar said, “I’m not part of the Five Eyes. I’m certainly not part of the FBI. So I think you're asking the wrong person."
Trudeau on Friday said that Canada shared with India "many weeks ago" evidence on the killing of Nijjar and wants New Delhi to commit constructively with Ottawa to establish the facts in the "very serious matter."
When asked about Canada sharing any information in the case with India, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi said: "No specific information has been shared by Canada on this case, either then or before or after. We have, you know, as we have said, or I think we have made very clear, we are willing to look at any specific information."