• Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Canada issue discussed with Blinken, confirms India foreign minister: ‘Yes, I did’

The Indian diplomat said he hoped both he and the US secretary of state came out from their talks better informed.

Indian external affairs minister Subrahmanyam (Photo by MONEY SHARMA/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIAN external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Friday (29) said Canada’s allegations with regard to the death of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar was discussed during his meeting with the US secretary of state Antony Blinken a day before and noted that the two delegations came out better informed after the meeting.

“Yes, I did,” Jaishankar said in response to a question during his appearance at the prestigious Hudson Institute think-tank in Washington DC when asked if the issue of Canadian allegations came up during his meeting with Blinken at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the state department.

The US side shared its assessments on this whole situation and he explained to the Americans a summary of India’s concerns.

“I think hopefully we both came out better informed,” Jaishankar said.

Tensions flared between India and Canada following Trudeau’s explosive allegations of the “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani extremist Nijjar on his country’s soil on June 18 in British Columbia.

India had designated Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020. India angrily rejected the allegations as “absurd” and “motivated” and expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move to Ottawa’s expulsion of an Indian official over the case.

The Canadian prime minister, he said, made some allegations initially privately and then publicly.

“Our response to him both in private and public was that his allegation was not consistent with our policy. And if he had, his government had anything relevant specifics, we would look into,” he said.

Jaishankar said that for India, Canada has become a country where organised crime from India mixed with trafficking in people, mixed with secessionism and violence which is a very toxic combination of issues that people who have found operating space.

He acknowledged that there has been a lot between India and Canada on this issue preceding the remarks of the Canadian prime minister. The minister alleged that the security situation in Canada is not good. There are open threats against Indian diplomats, and they don’t feel safe.

As a result, India has had to put a halt to its visa section. In Canada, he said, extremists and people are openly advocating violence and they have been given operating space in Canada.

(With PTI inputs)

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