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India’s Foreign Minister discusses Canada row with US officials

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India’s Foreign Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, confirmed today that he engaged in discussions regarding the ongoing dispute between India and Canada during his recent visit to Washington, DC.

The focal point of these talks was the tragic killing of Canadian Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, and the possible link to Indian government agents.

During his visit, Jaishankar held talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. Speaking at an event at the Hudson Institute, he stated, “They [Blinken and Sullivan] obviously shared US views and assessments on this whole situation, and I explained to them… the concerns which I had.”

The dispute began when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an investigation into “credible allegations of a potential link” between Indian government agents and Nijjar’s murder, which occurred in June.

India has consistently refuted these allegations, labeling them as “absurd” and politically motivated. Jaishankar reiterated that the Indian government’s stance, both in private and public, is that Trudeau’s allegations do not align with India’s policy.

Furthermore, Jaishankar emphasized the stark differences in how the US and India perceive Canada. He accused Canada of harboring “terrorists” and organized crime, specifically referring to Sikh separatists whom New Delhi considers a security threat.

Tensions escalated last week as both Canada and India expelled diplomats, and New Delhi suspended visa services in Canada due to purported threats against its consular staff. Jaishankar expressed concern for the safety of Indian diplomats in Canada, citing a “climate of fear.”

The Canada-India dispute has also seen social media threats against Canadian diplomats in India. Prime Minister Trudeau has called for cooperation from India in the investigation, although specific evidence linking India to Nijjar’s killing has not been released by Canada.

While the US has been deepening ties with India as a strategic partner in the Asia-Pacific region, it has also voiced support for the Canadian investigation. US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan emphasized that the dispute has not strained relations between the US and Canada.

In conclusion, this ongoing diplomatic row between India and Canada, fueled by allegations surrounding the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, continues to captivate international attention. The quest for accountability and justice remains at the forefront, with both nations closely monitoring the situation.

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