Terrorists get space in Canada because of its 'permissive attitude', 'political compulsions': EAM

Jaishankar confirms he spoke to Blinken, Jake Sullivan about Canada issue


External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, on Friday, came down heavily on Canada and its Prime Minister Justin Trudeau amid the simmering diplomatic row between New Delhi and Ottawa, saying terrorists and extremists who openly advocate violence get operating space in Canada because of the country's permissive attitude and "compulsions of Canadian politics."

During an interaction in Washington DC, Jaishankar said Trudeau made some allegations against India initially privately, and then publicly. "Our response to him, both in private and public, what he was alleging was not consistent with our policy. And that if he had, if his government had anything relevant and specific they would like us to look into, we were open to looking at it," he said.

Trudeau had alleged that the Indian government was behind the killing of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia on June 18. India had designated Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020. New Delhi rejected Canada's allegations as "absurd" and "motivated".

The EAM pointed out that the issue of the presence of separatists in Canada had been causing friction between India and Canada since the 1980s. "Then it became dormant. But in the last few years, it has come back very much into play, because of what we consider to be a very permissive Canadian attitude towards terrorists, extremist people who openly advocate violence. And they have been given operating space in Canada because of the compulsions of Canadian politics..."

Jaishankar, who is currently on a five-day official trip to Washington DC, confirmed that he spoke to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan about Canada. “They shared US views and assessments on this whole situation. I think hopefully we both came out of those meetings better and forward."

Meanwhile, a senior state department official in the US said Blinken urged India to "cooperate fully" with the ongoing Canadian investigation into the killing of Nijjar.

Trudeau too had said he got assurances from the United States that Blinken would be raising the allegations made publicly about India's role in Nijjar's murder during the meeting with the external affairs minister.

Earlier in the day, Trudeau had said Canada is "very serious" about building closer ties with India as it is a growing economic power and important geopolitical player, but wants New Delhi to work with Ottawa to ensure that they get the full facts about the killing of Nijjar.

Trudeau said he thinks it is extremely important that Canada and its allies continue to engage constructively and seriously with India given its growing importance on the world stage.

📣 The Week is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@TheWeekmagazine) and stay updated with the latest headlines