22 Sept 2023

Canada India Row: Will America’s Concern Over Nijjar’s Murder Affect Ties With India? US Official Said This

Washington: The U.S. is in touch with Indians at high levels after Ottawa said Indian government agents had links to the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in Canada, and Washington is giving India no special exemption in the matter, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.

The United States has been seeking to strengthen its relationship with India. President Joe Biden hosted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a state visit at the White House earlier this year.

Asked whether US concern over the incident could disrupt that process, Sullivan said the United States would stand up for its principles, regardless of what country is affected.

"It is a matter of concern for us. It is something we take seriously. It is something we will keep working on, and we will do that regardless of the country," Sullivan told reporters at the White House.

"There's not some special exemption you get for actions like this. Regardless of the country, we will stand up and defend our basic principles and we will also consult closely with allies like Canada as they pursue their law enforcement and diplomatic process."

Canada said on Monday that it was "actively pursuing credible allegations" linking Indian government agents to the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, 45, outside a Sikh temple in June.

Sullivan noted that the United States was in touch with both countries about the topic.

"We are in constant contact with our Canadian counterparts ... and we have also been in touch with the Indian government,” Sullivan said.

Canada wants India to cooperate in murder probe


Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called on India to cooperate with the investigation into the murder of Sikh separatist leader but said Canada would not release its evidence.

Traditional Canadian allies have so far taken a relatively cautious approach to the matter. Analysts say this is partly because the United States and other major players see India as a counterweight to the growing influence of China.

Trudeau said in a press conference in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly that India is a country of growing importance and a country that Canada need to continue to work with. he said \we’re not looking to provoke or cause problems.

“But we are unequivocal around the importance of the rule of law and unequivocal about the importance of protecting Canadians. That’s why we call upon the government of India to work with us to establish processes to discover and to uncover the truth of the matter,” Trudeau said.

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