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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations made last week in the Canadian Parliament, accusing agents of the Indian government of killing a Canadian national, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, declared by India as a terrorist and head of the Khalistani Tiger Force (KTF), have completely upended India-Canada relations. Trudeau also decided to expel a diplomat from India’s High Commission in Canada, although he has himself acknowledged that the investigations into Nijjar’s killing haven’t been completed and were ongoing. India strongly rejected the allegations, and responded by similarly expelling a Canadian diplomat and subsequently announcing a suspension in the issuing of visas for Canadians.
How did it come to this? That’s the question we addressed in this Explainer on the downward spiral in India-Canada relations. This week’s World View from Suhasini Haidar also provided an in-depth look at the fallout of Trudeau’s remarks. You can read or watch World View here:
More from our coverage this week on the crisis in India-Canada ties:
The U.S. provided Canada with intelligence after the killing of Nijjar, the New York Times reported.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. was “deeply concerned” about the allegations and said the U.S. wants “to see accountability.”
The Hindu, in an editorial, said the first step at such a fraught moment has to be “some cold reflection over the next steps”. “For Mr. Trudeau,” the editorial said, “the priority must be to publicly prove his very serious allegations, or admit he is unable to.”
Stepping up its crackdown on pro-Khalistan terrorists, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) last week announced a reward of ₹10 lakh each for information leading to the arrest of designated terrorists linked to the banned outfit Babbar Khalsa International (BKI).
Devesh K. Pandey in this piece explains the rise of the BKI, one of the oldest pro-Khalistan groups, and its members’ connections to Nijjar.
Another India-China row, this time on visas
Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Friday cancelled his visit to the Asian Games, which opened on Saturday in Hangzhou, due to China’s denial of entry to Indian Wushu players from Arunachal Pradesh, even as the government registered an official protest at the decision. The Ministry of External Affairs in a statement described the action as “targeted and pre-meditated”. Only in July, three Wushu players from Arunachal Pradesh, due to take part in the World University Games in Chengdu, were issued stapled visas. The Hindu noted in an editorial that in this instance, the decision to bar the athletes appears particularly vindictive as visas were not needed to travel for athletes issued digital accreditations. This was also, unfortunately, not the first instance of Beijing using sporting events that should have no place for politics to score geopolitical points.
The Top Five
What we are reading this week – the best of The Hindu’s Opinion and Analysis
- Suhasini Haidar examines the factors behind the success of the G-20 Summit in New Delhi, and why India’s policy ‘mantras’ of multilateralism, multipolarity and the “middle way” won the day.
- Stanly Johny, on India and the great power contest in West Asia, writes why U.S.-China competition in the region gives New Delhi new opportunities for multi-engagement.
- Harsh V. Pant and Vivek Mishra explain the key role of Vietnam in America’s “Indo-Pacific puzzle”.
- Tejal Kanitkar and T. Jayaraman argue why at COP28, developing countries should only consider the 2030 global renewable energy target if the North commits to equitable absolute targets domestically.
- With reports last week emerging of China sentencing Uyghur intellectual Rahile Dawut to life in prison, we looked at the silencing and disappearing of leading writers, scholars and intellectuals in Xinjiang since Xi Jinping’s coming to power.