Canada row: No ‘special exemption’ for India over Nijjar murder, says US
Biden raised the Sikh leader’s murder issue with Modi at G20 summit: report
THE US is in touch with Indians at high levels after Ottawa said Indian government agents had links to the murder of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Thursday (21).
Washington is giving India no “special exemption” in the matter, he said
The US has been seeking to strengthen its relationship with India. President Joe Biden hosted Indian prime minister Narendra Modi for a state visit at the White House earlier this year.
Asked whether US concern over the incident could disrupt that process, Sullivan said the US would stand up for its principles, regardless of what country is affected.
“It is a matter of concern for us. It is something we take seriously. It is something we will keep working on, and we will do that regardless of the country,” Sullivan told reporters at the White House.
“There’s not some special exemption you get for actions like this. Regardless of the country, we will stand up and defend our basic principles and we will also consult closely with allies like Canada as they pursue their law enforcement and diplomatic process.”
Canada said on Monday (18) that it was “actively pursuing credible allegations” linking Indian government agents to the murder of Nijjar, 45, outside a Sikh temple in June.
Sullivan noted that the US was in touch with both countries about the topic.
“We are in constant contact with our Canadian counterparts … and we have also been in touch with the Indian government,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan said he disagreed with reports suggesting there was distance between Canada and the US on the issue.
“I firmly reject the idea that there is a wedge between the US and Canada. We have deep concerns about the allegations and we would like to see this investigation carried forward and the perpetrators held to account,” he said.
Biden and other leaders expressed concern to Modi at the G20 summit this month about the claims that New Delhi was involved in the murder of Nijjar, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.
Several members of the Five Eyes — an intelligence-sharing network that includes the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — raised the June killing of Nijjar in British Columbia, the newspaper said, citing three people familiar with the discussions at the summit.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the FT report.