S. Jaishankar, India’s External Affairs Minister, has expressed grave concern about the current situation in Canada, stating strongly that it should not be deemed normal and efforts to normalise the situation should not be made. Jaishankar stressed very much that India did not need lessons in free speech from elsewhere.
Jaishankar mentioned that because of the actions of the Canadian authorities, Indian diplomats in Canada are facing greater threats in Canada. During a recent sit-down interview that he was part of, he wondered if similar things would be considered typical in any other country.
Tensions between India and Canada have risen, particularly as a result of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s suspicions of India’s participation in the June killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada, which India categorically denies as “absurd.”
Furthermore, Jaishankar also reminded the audience that over the years there have been a lot of extradition requests for various criminals from India to Canada have been ignored or avoided by Canada, which, according to him, raises concerns about Canada’s tolerance towards terrorism, extremism, and violence.
The claims made by Canada against India are said to have been discussed by the 5 Eyes countries, comprised of the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand; however, no concrete evidence has been provided by Canada regarding its brazen allegations. Even Canada’s opposition parties have mentioned that even internally, no such evidence has been shown to them.
While the US expressed serious concern about the charges, the India-Canada disagreement was not mentioned during Jaishankar’s meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The US State Department urged India to help with the Canadian investigation.