Thu, 07 Dec 2023

Ottawa [Canada], September 23 (ANI): Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday (local time) said that Ottawa wants to "work constructively with India" regarding the alleged involvement of New Delhi in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, designated as a terrorist by India.

While addressing a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Trudeau said, "In regards to India, Canada has shared the credible allegations that I talked about on Monday. With India, we did that many weeks ago. We are there to work constructively with India and we hope that they engage with us so that we can get to the bottom of this very serious matter."On Monday, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau alleged India's role behind the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India has out-rightly denied such allegations calling them'absurd' and 'motivated'. India on Tuesday expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a reciprocal move to Canada expelling a senior Indian diplomat in light of the claim of New Delhi's involvement in the killing of the wanted separatist leader.

On Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that the allegations made by Canada regarding the "potential links" of India behind the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar are"politically driven".

"Yes, I do think there is a degree of prejudice here. They have made allegations and taken action against them. To us, it seems that these allegations by the government of Canada are primarily politically driven," Bagchi said while addressing a weekly presser.

The MEA spokesperson further said no information has been shared by Canada regarding the killing of Nijjar.

"We are willing to look at any specific information that is provided to us, but so far we have received no specific information from Canada," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday answering queries.

In his news conference in New York on Thursday, the Canadian Prime Minister, however, failed to present any evidence to back Canadian claims.

Trudeau was repeatedly quizzed on the nature of the allegations but stuck to reiterating that there were "credible reasons" to believe that India was linked to the death of Nijjar.

"There are credible reasons to believe that agents of the Government of India were involved in the killing of a Canadian on Canadian soil. That is ...there is something of utmost foundational importance in a country's rule of law in a world where international rules-based order matters" said Trudeau.

"We call upon the Government of India to take seriously this matter and to work with us to shed full transparency and ensure accountability and justice in this matter" he added.

In response to a query, Trudeau said, "We are standing for the rule of law or highlighting how unacceptable it would be for any country to be involved in the killing of a citizen on its own soil.""I think it is important that as a country with a strong, independent justice system ... we allow those justice processes to unfold themselves with the utmost integrity. but I assure this decision to share these allegations on the floor in the House of Commons on Monday morning was not made lightly and was done with utmost seriousness," the Canadian PM said.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the chief of Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF)- a Sikh extremist organisation banned by India - and a "designated terrorist" was gunned down in Canada's Surrey in June. (ANI)

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