Amid the India-Canada diplomatic tensions, External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar said that India has told Canada it was open to looking into any specific information it provides on the killing of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. EAM Jaishankar made this statement while speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations event, in New York.
EAM Dr S Jaishankar further said, “We told the Canadians that this is not the Government of India’s policy…If you have something specific and if you have something relevant, let us know. We are open to looking at it…The picture is not complete without the context in a way.”
Highlighting how Canada has been a safe heaven for the Khalistani terrorist, EAM Jaishankar said, “You also have to appreciate that in the last few years, Canada actually has seen a lot of organized crime relating to the successionist forces, organized crime, violence, extremism. They’re all very, very deeply mixed up.”
During the address, EAM mentioned that through numerous interactions India has emphasized specific details and shared extensive information with the Canadian counterparts. He said that the discussions between the countries have centered on the presence of organized crime leadership in Canada, leading to multiple extradition requests. Furthermore, he said that India has also identified the terrorist leaders with ongoing cases.
EAM Jaishankar pointed out concerns regarding the threats to the Indian consulates and diplomats in Canada, stating that these are ‘very permissive’ due to political reasons. He said, “So we have a situation where our diplomats are threatened, our consulates have been attacked…A lot of this 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.”
Notably, earlier while delivering a speech at the General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA)’s 78th session on September 25, the foreign minister took a dig at Canada’s allegations. He said that terrorism should not be influenced or determined by political convenience or expediency. “Similarly, respect for territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs cannot be exercises in cherry-picking,” he added.