New Delhi, September 29
While reiterating that Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s allegation of a potential India link in Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s killing was not New Delhi’s policy, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said he told his high level American interlocutors including NSA Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken that it was in fact Ottawa’s “permissive attitude” that has given space to organised crime from India which has got mixed up with trafficking, separatism, violence and terrorism.
“India’s security related issues with Canada have preceded its PM Trudeau’s allegation. Our response to him both in private and public is what he was alleging is not consistent with our policy. And, that if his government had anything relevant and specific, we are open to looking at it. That is where this conversation is at this point of time,” the Minister said during interaction with a US think-tank, Hudson Institute, on Friday after holding talks with both Sullivan and Blkinken.
“You have to appreciate that this this has been an issue of great friction for many years with Canada going back to the 80s. Then it became dormant. But in the last two years it has come back very much into play due to a very permissive Canadian attitude to terrorists, extremists and people who openly advocate violence. They have been given operating space because of compulsions of Canadian politics.
“I don’t think for most Americans, Canada doesn’t look different. For us it certainly is a country where organised crime from India is mixed with trafficking, violence, terrorism….it is a very toxic combination of issues and people who have found operating base there. So a lot of our tensions with Canada well preceded what Truedau said.
“Today I am in a situation where my diplomats are unsafe going to their embassy and consulates in Canada. They are publically intimidated. And that has actually compelled me to suspend even visa operations in Canada. Often countries look different depending on how you see them and what their interests are. But I have a problem with Canada,” emphasised the Minister while telling Walter Mead, Hudson’s Distinguished Fellow, that this was a “summary” of what he told Sullivan and Blinken.
“I think hopefully we came out of those meetings better informed,” he added.
Asked Jaishankar to join Canadian probe: Blinken
New Delhi: Speaking on the Nijjar murder, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he had told his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar during a meeting on Thursday that India should work with Canada in the investigations because “those responsible (for the killing) need to be held accountable.”
“I’ve said before and my other colleagues have said before that we are very concerned about the allegations that were raised by Canadian PM Trudeau. We are in close contact with the Canadians about that.
“At the same time we’ve engaged with the Indian government and urged them to work with Canada in the investigations…I hope friends in Canada and India will work together to resolve this matter,” Blinken said in a reply to a question at a press conference after the Mexico-US high-level economic dialogue held in Washington on Friday.
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