In his new remarks on the diplomatic face-off with India, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the world becomes “more dangerous” for everyone “when larger countries can violate international law without consequences.”
Relations between New Delhi and Ottawa have been strained since Trudeau accused Indian agents of being involved in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Nijjar, 45, was shot dead outside a gurdwara in British Columbia, Canada, in June. He was head of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force and one of India’s most wanted terrorists. India described the allegations as “absurd” and “motivated”.
The Canadian Prime Minister addressed the media on the occasion of the launch of a nationwide smart energy grid. Asked whether the US should discuss the matter with India on Canada’s behalf, he replied: “From the very beginning, when we learned of credible allegations that agents of the Indian government were involved in the killing of a Canadian citizen” on Canadian soil We reached out to India and asked them to work with us to get to the bottom of this matter. We also turned to our friends and allies like the United States and others to work on this truly serious violation of international law and the sovereignty of a democracy. This is something we take very, very seriously. We will continue to work with all partners as law enforcement and investigative agencies continue to do their work.”
“Canada is a country that will always stand up for the rule of law, because when power begins to make law, when larger countries can violate international law without consequences, then the whole world becomes more dangerous for everyone,” he added.
Asked whether Canadian MP Chandra Arya’s invitation to Indian envoy Sanjay Kumar Verma to an event amid the diplomatic standoff was appropriate, Trudeau said Canada wanted to work “constructively” with India on this “very serious matter.” “We have reached out to the Indian government and partners around the world to get to the bottom of the matter and take it seriously. That’s why we were so disappointed when India violated the Vienna Convention and arbitrarily removed the diplomatic immunity of over 40 Canadian diplomats in India,” he said.
“We have serious reasons to believe that Indian government agents may have been involved in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil. And India’s response is to throw out a whole bunch of Canadian diplomats, violating their rights under the Vienna Convention. This is a cause for concern for countries around the world because when it comes to a particular country,” the Canadian Prime Minister added.
Trudeau said Canada has tried to work “constructively” with India and will continue to do so. “This is not a fight we want to fight now, but we will always unequivocally stand up for the rule of law,” he said.
The State Department has yet to respond to Trudeau’s recent comments.
In a strong response to Trudeau’s allegations, Foreign Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar said Ottawa had been told that “this is not the policy of the Government of India”. “We told them: If you have something specific, if you have something relevant, let us know. We are open to looking at it,” he said.
“In recent years there has actually been a lot of organized crime in Canada related to the secessionist forces, organized crime, violence and extremism. They are all very, very deeply confused,” he added.
Dr. Jaishankar also expressed concern that Indian diplomats and consulates in Canada were facing threats.
“We are in a situation where, in fact, our diplomats are being threatened, our consulates are being attacked and comments are often being made that there is interference in our politics. And a lot of it is often justified by saying, “Well, that’s how democracies work,” he said.
Source : www.ndtv.com