A day after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's statement that there were "credible allegations" linking India to the killing of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the country's opposition leader has urged the Prime Minister to come clean with facts.
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre called on Trudeau to "come clean" with more information about allegations. Poilievre told reporters that he received the same information from Trudeau privately. On whether Canada's relationship with India should change in light of the new allegations, Poilievre said Trudeau should share more proof behind the allegations.
"The prime minister needs to come clean with all the facts. We need to know all the evidence possible so that Canadians can make judgments on that," Poilievre said.
"The prime minister hasn’t provided any facts. He provided a statement and I want to emphasise that he didn’t tell me any more in private (than) he told Canadians in public, so we want to see more information," Poilievre said. He added that there would be "real" risk if Trudeau refuses to provide more information or if the allegations turn out to be inaccurate.
Besides Poilievre, British Columbia Premier David Eby also called on the Trudeau government to share more information on ongoing foreign interference and "transnational organised crime threats" after receiving a briefing from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) on Nijjar’s "assassination".
Jesse Singh, founder and chairman of the community group, Sikhs of America, told an event hosted by Washington's Hudson Institute think tank that Trudeau has failed to provide any proof. "It's just something that he said is a credible allegation, with no proof at all. And I think we'll have to wait to see if there is any proof there and then I think further decisions can be taken," Singh added.
Harjit Sajjan, Canada's minister of emergency preparedness, told a local media organisation that Trudeau publicly implicated India because he learned the story was going to come out in the media. Sajjan, the Liberal MP for Vancouver South, said the investigation into Nijjar's death is still ongoing, but Trudeau wanted to ensure Canadians had "the accurate information" about the story before it made headlines.
"I can assure you that the decision for the prime minister to go out … was done with the full consultation of the appropriate agencies involved.
And, again, we would prefer not to have to come out, but because if there were stories that were going to be coming out, it's important for the prime minister to make it very clear what is taking place based on, you know, the amount of information that could be provided," Sajjan told CBC Radio.
Meanwhile, Reuters quoted a senior official in Canada who said the government should share evidence in Canada's possession "in due course".