In the midst of a diplomatic standoff between India and Canada, Sanjay Kumar Verma, the Indian high commissioner to Canada, has called upon Ottawa to provide substantial evidence to support its allegations concerning the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a pro-Khalistan militant. Verma’s request for evidence comes in response to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mention of “credible allegations” suggesting a possible link between Indian agents and Nijjar’s murder in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18.
The diplomatic tensions escalated following Trudeau’s public statements, leading to the expulsion of diplomats from both countries. While India initially suspended visa services to Canada, it later relaxed the restrictions for a select group. However, Verma firmly denied India’s involvement in the case and expressed concerns that the Canadian Police investigation may have been “damaged” by the public allegations made by Trudeau.
In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Verma emphasized the absence of specific and relevant information provided by Canada or its allies to assist in the investigation. He questioned the lack of evidence, stating, “Where is the evidence? Where is the conclusion of the investigation? I would go a step further and say now the investigation has already been tainted. A direction has come from someone at a high level to say India or Indian agents are behind it.”
Verma also shed light on the confidentiality of diplomatic conversations, emphasizing that they are protected by international law and cannot be used as court evidence or released publicly. He challenged the legitimacy of the alleged wiretaps and questioned whether someone had mimicked the voices in the recordings.
While advocating for professional dispute resolution through communication and dialogue, Verma urged Canada to take action against Khalistan supporters within its borders. He stressed the importance of preventing Canadian soil from being used by individuals seeking to undermine India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, emphasizing the need for rules and laws in place to address such concerns.
Additionally, Verma revealed that India had made 26 extradition requests to Ottawa over the past five or six years but has yet to receive any action in response. The Indian envoy expressed his concerns about safety and security, citing threats that have led to him and his consul generals receiving security protection from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
In summary, the Indian high commissioner, Sanjay Kumar Verma, has called for Canada to provide concrete evidence to support its allegations in the Hardeep Nijjar case, amid escalating diplomatic tensions between the two nations. Verma stressed the importance of professionalism in dispute resolution and urged Canada to take action against Khalistan supporters while expressing concerns about his and his colleagues’ safety.