More than a week after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged that agents of the Indian government were involved in the June assassination of Khalistan separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia, the country’s Ambassador to the United Nations (U.N.) reiterated Ottawa’s concerns about foreign interference and rules of state to state interaction.
“We also have to uphold the values of free and democratic societies,” Robert Rae told the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Tuesday afternoon.
“We cannot bend the rules of state to state relations for political expediency,” he said.
“Because we’ve seen and continue to see the extent to which democracies are under threat through various means of foreign interference,” he added.
The Canadian government has voiced concern over alleged interference from a number of countries, not just India, but also China and Russia. Ottawa had announced an investigation in early September into alleged federal election interference in the 2019 and 2021 elections.
Mr Rae addressed the U.N. a short while after External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s UNGA address, in which the Minister had said the world must not find acceptable, the idea “ that political convenience determines responses to terrorism, extremism and violence”. New Delhi has rejected Mr. Trudeau’s allegations around the Nijjar killing, and has, for some time now, accused Ottawa of not doing enough to curb India-related separatist activity in Canada.
“But the truth is if we don’t adhere to the rules that we’ve agreed to the very fabric of our open and of our free societies based start to tear,” Mr. Rae said on Tuesday.
Mr. Rae also listed “foreign interference, misinformation and disinformation” as he enumerated Canadians’ concerns.