Pro-Khalistani Elements: Tonal shift in India-Canada relations after US exposed Pannun murder plot: Canadian PM Justin Trudeau | India News


Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday said he believes India’s relations with Ottawa seem to have undergone “a tonal shift” in the days since the unsealing of a US indictment alleging a conspiracy to murder pro-Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil.
In an interview to Canadian media, Trudeau said that PM Narendra Modi’s government had reacted with “scorn and flat denials” when he had stated publicly in the House of Commons on September 18 that there was credible intelligence linking India to the June 18 shooting death of pro-Khalistani Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

“But this attitude shifted with the US indictment alleging multiple Indian assassination plots across North America … now there seems to be an understanding that (India) can’t bluster their way through this,” he said.

Last month, a US indictment accused Indian government agents as being both instigators and financiers of a murder plot in New York City.

Last week, Trudeau had said he went public with the allegation after weeks of fruitless quiet diplomacy in order to “put a chill on India” and deter any Indian agents who might be thinking of carrying out further attacks on Canadian territory.
The US indictment appears to have convinced the Indian government to adopt a more sober tone, said Trudeau.

“I think there is a beginning of an understanding that they can’t bluster their way through this and there is an openness to collaborating in a way that perhaps they were less open before,” he said, adding: “There’s an understanding that maybe just churning out attacks against Canada isn’t going to make this problem go away.”
US indictment
The US indictment is much more detailed than Canada’s allegation, and lays more of its evidence on the table — reflecting the fact that the US criminal investigation is at a more advanced stage.

In a significant move to put pressure on India, the Joe Biden administration gave a confidential briefing to the “Samosa caucus”, a group of influential Indian-American members of Congress. They emerged from that briefing to issue a warning to the government of India.
“We believe the US–India partnership has made a meaningful impact on the lives of both of our people,” said the Democrats. “But we are concerned that the actions outlined in the indictment could, if not appropriately addressed, cause significant damage to this very consequential partnership.”
India will examine evidence: PM Modi
Earlier in the day, PM Modi for the first time responded to US allegations about India’s involvement in the assassination plot of Sikh extremist Pannun, saying that New Delhi would look into any evidence provided by Washington.

PM Modi affirmed India’s commitment to the rule of law and said that it’s ready to look into the matter if any such information is provided to it.
“If someone provides us any information, we would definitely look into it. If a citizen of ours has done anything good or bad, we are ready to look into it. Our commitment is to the rule of law,” he said.
The PM also expressed deep concern over the activities of Khalistani groups overseas, saying that such elements have engaged in “intimidation and incited violence under the guise of freedom of expression.”


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