Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is not looking to escalate the situation with India after he revealed allegations of “credible” intelligence that agents of the Indian government had a hand in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian Sikh leader.
Instead, he says Canada is looking for the facts and calls on India to co-operate with the investigation into Nijjar’s murder in B.C. this past June.
“One of the things that is so important today is that the government of India takes seriously this matter. It is extremely serious and has far-reaching consequences of international law,” Trudeau said, adding Canada would “remain calm.”
“Canadians have a right to know and need to know when things are going on like this, and that’s why we made the decision to do this.
“We are not looking to provoke or escalate. We are simply laying out the facts as we understand them and we want to work with the government of India.”
‘Credible’ intel links India to Canadian Sikh leader’s murder: Trudeau
On Monday, Trudeau rose in the House of Commons and shared the allegations. Heading into the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, he said this is based on an intelligence analysis that has been built over the summer when asked why he was sharing the allegations now.
“We wanted to make sure we had solid grounding in understanding what was going on, in analysis and indeed in facts, and we wanted to make sure we’re taking the time to talk with our allies and share what we knew,” Trudeau said.
“We wanted to make sure that we fully shared with the government of India the seriousness and the depths of our preoccupations and indeed conclusions.”
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In June, Nijjar was killed in his truck in Surrey, B.C., outside the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara.
RCMP said the suspects were two masked men, who may not have been acting alone. They described it as a targeted attack and said there was not a threat to the broader Sikh community.
The government of India denies any involvement in the killing, and expelled a Canadian diplomat Tuesday morning after Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly announced the expulsion of a top Indian security official who was working in Canada on Monday afternoon.
Nijjar was considered a terrorist by the government of India, and the Indian government has been critical of Canada, saying the government is sympathetic to and harbours Khalistani extremists.
Prior to his death, Nijjar had denied the allegations.
The Sikh independence movement is advocating for the creation of a Sikh home state called Khalistan in the Punjab province.
More to come…
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