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Trudeau promises to ‘Hold People to Account’ for Sikh’s murder and new travel advisory for India

Photo: AP

The Canadian government has revised its travel advisory, advising its citizens to refrain from all travel to Jammu and Kashmir "due to the uncertain security situation" in the area.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stated that Canada will meticulously examine the evidence and ensure that those responsible for the assassination of a Sikh leader within Canada, an incident his government alleges was orchestrated by India, are held accountable.

The Canadian government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is emphasizing the critical importance of India addressing this issue with the utmost seriousness. Trudeau made this statement, refraining from explicitly mentioning Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a press conference held on his way to a cabinet meeting in Ottawa. This statement came one day after Canada expelled a senior Indian diplomat.

Trudeau clarified, "We are not seeking to provoke or escalate tensions. Our intention is to present the facts as we have understood them. We aim to collaborate with the government of India to ensure transparency and due process."

In response to Canada's actions, the Indian government, led by Prime Minister Modi, denied any involvement in the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar and, in retaliation, expelled a Canadian diplomat.

Trudeau emphasized that his government had taken its time during the summer to meticulously review the information gathered by Canadian intelligence agencies and subsequently shared their findings with international allies. He added that Canada remains committed to maintaining a calm and principled approach rooted in democratic values. The primary goal is to follow the evidence and ensure that those responsible are held accountable.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims has issued a set of demands in response to the situation. They have called for:

  1. A formal halt to trade negotiations with India.

  2. The immediate recall of Canada's ambassador to India.

  3. Initiating the process to expel Sanjay Kumar Verma, India's high commissioner to Canada.

  4. The removal of agents associated with India's far-right RSS organization from Canada, and a ban on their entry into the country.

These demands reflect the organization's concerns and stance regarding the ongoing issues between Canada and India.

The World Sikh Organization of Canada has reiterated its demands, which include:

  1. The cessation of all intelligence-sharing between Canada and India.

  2. The immediate provision of protection for Sikhs residing in Canada.

  3. Imposing a ban on Indian nationals working in intelligence agencies from entering Canada.

Additionally, the organization is advocating for India to be included in an upcoming public inquiry into foreign government interference in Canadian affairs. They are also calling for a comprehensive and continuous review of all Indian diplomats and officials in Canada.

In response to these demands, India's Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement, dismissing allegations of the Indian government's involvement in any acts of violence in Canada as "absurd and motivated." The statement also criticized Canada for not taking action against individuals classified as "terrorists and extremists" who advocate for the establishment of an independent Sikh state called Khalistan.

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