The United States has emphasized its expectation that the Indian government will collaborate with Canada in investigating the potential involvement of New Delhi agents in the murder of a Canadian citizen in June. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently stated that Ottawa possesses credible intelligence linking Indian agents to the killing of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, which has sparked a strong reaction from New Delhi, who denies the allegation. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed concern over the allegations and stressed the importance of India cooperating with Canada in the investigation to ensure accountability. While the White House has also expressed concerns, Blinken’s comments mark the highest-level U.S. response thus far.
Earlier this week, traditional Canadian allies, including the United States, took a cautious approach to the matter. This approach is partly attributed to the perception of India as a counterweight to China’s growing influence, according to political analysts. Blinken affirmed that the United States has been closely consulting and coordinating with Canadian officials on this issue.
During a press conference, Prime Minister Trudeau reiterated his call for the Indian government to cooperate in the investigation. Trudeau also revealed that Canada had shared the credible allegations with India several weeks ago. The Canadian government has reportedly gathered human and signals intelligence over several months in its investigation into the murder of the Sikh separatist leader. The intelligence reportedly includes communications of Indian officials present in Canada, with some information provided by an unidentified ally in the Five Eyes alliance, an intelligence-sharing network comprising the U.S., the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. However, Trudeau has not disclosed specific details about the intelligence collected by Canadian spy agencies, and his office has neither confirmed nor denied the report.
Senior Canadian government sources have emphasized that Trudeau would not have made public statements without a high level of confidence in the intelligence. The investigation and allegations continue to be a matter of concern for the United States, Canada, and India, with efforts focused on cooperation and accountability.
Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington and Steve Scherer in Ottawa; Additional reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Daniel Wallis and David Gregorio.
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