Canada’s allegations against India ‘serious’: US

Arshad Khan

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, inset John Kirby

The United States has termed Canada’s allegations of Indian government’s involvement in the killing of pro-Khalistan Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijja as “serious”. Along with that, Washington also thinks that it is necessary to investigate the charges brought against India.

John Kirby, US National Security Council’s strategic communications coordinator, said. Indian media NDTV reported that Kirby said these words at a press conference at the White House on Tuesday local time.

The White House said Canada’s allegations of Indian involvement in the killing of the pro-Khalistan leader are “serious” and need to be fully investigated, according to a report published on Wednesday.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar, 45, was shot dead on June 18 outside a Sikh temple in British Columbia, Canada. He was a Sikh separatist leader and a Canadian citizen.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has alleged that agents of the Indian government played a role in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijja. Standing in Parliament, he said that Canada’s intelligence agencies have found “credible” evidence of the Indian government’s involvement in the killing of Sikh leader Nijjar.

Relations between India and Canada have heated up after Trudeau’s allegations. However, India dismissed the allegation of involvement in the killings as “absurd”. The slain Nijjar was a ‘terrorist’ in the eyes of New Delhi.

According to NDTV, National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator at the White House, John Kirby, told reporters at a press conference that visiting Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and US National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan met in Washington last week and discussed Canada’s allegations.

In response to a question, he said, “The issue has been discussed.” We will definitely leave it to these two countries to talk about their bilateral relations.”

Kirby also said, ‘We have made it clear, these allegations are serious. These allegations need to be fully investigated and of course, as we have said earlier, we call upon India to actively participate in that investigation.”

On the other hand, US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters in a separate press conference that it is very important to continue the investigation into the murder of Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijja and bring the perpetrators to justice.

“We have said publicly and privately before, we have requested the Indian government to cooperate with Canada’s investigation (into the killing of the Sikh leader) and to cooperate in that effort,” he said.

“India is our partner in Quad and many other areas and we continue to work with them and other countries in the region on a number of important issues,” Vedanta Patel said.

“But as I said, we take these allegations very seriously and we not only continue to work closely with Canada but have publicly and privately requested the Indian government to cooperate with Canada,” Patel said.

Meanwhile, amid heated relations between Ottawa and New Delhi over the killing of a Sikh leader, the Indian government has asked Canada to withdraw 41 diplomats by October 10.

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