Canada’s allies quiet as tensions rise with India over Sikh leader’s murder

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday that Canada was “actively pursuing credible allegations” that Indian agents had potentially been involved in the murder of Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June. At that point, Ottawa had already been discussing the matter with key allies such as the Five Eyes intelligence sharing alliance, which also includes the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.


“Our Five Eyes partners are understandably reluctant to really wade into this, given everybody’s interest in advancing ties with India, in the context of the ongoing tension with China,” said Wesley Wark of the Centre for International Governance Innovation think tank in Waterloo, Ontario. “It’s a bit of a waiting game. If the Canadians come up with very solid evidence about egregious Indian state involvement in an assassination attempt, I think we’ll hear more from our allies in support,” he said. “If we don’t get our allies to support this, either publicly or privately, Canada’s not going to be able to do a great deal to move India,” said Richard Fadden, former head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.


“And I think the greatest thing we can aspire to in the short term or the medium term is to get India not to do this again”, he told CTV. Canadian government sources indicated they would have preferred to wait longer before making a statement but felt they had to act, given some domestic media outlets were about to break the story.


Trudeau would have never spoken “out loud if we didn’t have the information lining up into a fact base”, said one source, adding that they hoped more information would come soon.

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