Canada wanted US, other allies to condemn India, was rebuffed: Report
The US has said it was deeply concerned over the Canadian allegations and has asked India to cooperate with the investigation
Weeks before Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau linked Indian officials in the killing of a Sikh separatist leader, Ottawa wanted the US to condemn the murder but was reportedly rebuffed.
Canada had asked its closest allies, including Washington, to publicly denounce the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, The Washington Post quoted an unnamed Western official as saying.
“But the requests were turned down,” the official said. A spokeswoman for Canada’s foreign minister, however, disputed the claim and called it “false”.
The US has said it was deeply concerned over the Canadian allegations and has asked India to cooperate with the investigation.
The June 18 killing of Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, also led to behind-the-scenes discussions among senior officials from the Five Eyes countries in the run up to the September G20 summit in New Delhi.
However, no public mention was made before the summit, which was seen as an important event for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to The Washington Post.
Trudeau's announcement of "credible allegations" in the parliament has caused a major rupture in relations with India, resulting in a tit-for-tat expulsion of an Indian diplomat from Ottawa and a Canadian diplomat from New Delhi.
New Delhi has rejected Canada's allegations of Indian agents being involved in the killing of pro-Khalistan leader Nijjar, the chief of Khalistan Tiger Force and a designated 'terrorist'.
According to the Post, the issue highlights the diplomatic challenges faced by the Biden administration and its allies as they try to navigate relations with India, a crucial player in the region.
India has rejected Canada’s accusation as "absurd and motivated".
Nijjar had been designated a terrorist by security agencies in 2020 and was accused of supporting attacks in Punjab. India sought his extradition in 2022 and linked him to the killing of a Hindu priest in Punjab that same year.
India has also been pressuring countries like Canada, Australia, Britain, and the United States, which have significant Sikh communities, to crack down on the Khalistan movement.
Pro-Khalistan protests had taken place in London and San Francisco, causing tension with New Delhi.
Canadian officials have said Trudeau also raised the allegations against India with President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, media reports said. White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said Washington was “deeply concerned” about the allegations.
Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong said her country had raised the issue with India at “senior levels” and expressed its “deep concern”.
Britain expressed its disquiet over the development but an official statement made no mention of India.