Diplomatic relations between Canada and India soured significantly following allegations by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who suggested the involvement of ‘agents of the Indian government’ in the assassination of a Sikh separatist within Canadian borders. In the wake of these accusations, both nations decided to expel a high-ranking diplomat from each other’s embassies.
Amidst the ongoing diplomatic standoff regarding the assassination of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a cautionary advisory on Wednesday, urging Indian nationals and students in Canada to exercise extreme vigilance.
The advisory stated, ‘Due to the rise in anti-India activities, politically-condoned hate crimes, and criminal violence in Canada, all Indian nationals residing there or planning to travel are strongly advised to exercise caution. Recent threats have been particularly directed towards Indian diplomats and members of the Indian community who oppose anti-India agendas. Indian citizens are henceforth advised to avoid traveling to regions and venues in Canada that have witnessed such incidents.’
This development followed Canada’s decision to expel a senior Indian diplomat on allegations of potential connections between the Indian government and the killing of the pro-Khalistan leader. In response, India reciprocated by expelling a high-ranking Canadian diplomat in Delhi.
Prior to this, the Canadian government had updated its travel advisory for its citizens, recommending that they ‘exercise a high degree of caution’ when traveling to India, citing concerns about the ‘threat of terrorist attacks throughout the country.’
In a move that further escalated tensions between the two nations, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asserted that there was compelling evidence implicating India in the assassination of Khalistani separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June. These claims were vehemently refuted by the Ministry of External Affairs, which released a statement labeling them as ‘absurd and politically motivated.’ The statement read, ‘We have thoroughly reviewed and rejected the assertions made by the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as well as the statements made by their Foreign Minister.
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) September 20, 2023