Trudeau has made “unprecedented allegation”: Vivek Dehejia
Canadian PM Trudeau on Monday accused the Indian government of being behind the fatal shooting of Hardeep Singh Nijjar
OTTAWA: Canada-based professor of Carleton University and foreign policy expert Vivek Dehejia on Tuesday said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made an “unprecedented sort of allegation” against India and that it is hard to judge the credibility or the quality of the information.
“It's hard to judge the credibility or the quality of the information until we see more information. This is an unprecedented sort of allegation that in the history of independent India, I can't think of any previous case where the leader of a sort of so-called Western advanced country, democracy has said India is interfering in our internal affairs by plotting an assassination. It's absolutely unheard of. So it's extraordinarily peculiar,” the Canadian professor said on Tuesday.
He said the Canadian public or the public of the world, has not been given any information on the claims made by the Prime Minister. “So all we know is that Trudeau alleges this based on what he says he's been told by the Canadian security intelligence agency,” he said.
Canadian PM Trudeau on Monday accused the Indian government of being behind the fatal shooting of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Najjar, who was wanted in India, was gunned down outside a Gurdwara, in a parking area in Canada's Surrey, British Columbia on June 18.
Hailing from Bharsinghpur village in Punjab's Jalandhar, Nijjar was based in Surrey and had been declared "absconder" by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Trudeau on Monday (US local time) claimed that his country's national security officials had reasons to believe that "agents of the Indian government" carried out the killing of the Canadian citizen, who also served as the president of Surrey's Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara.
"Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the Government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar," Trudeau said.
Meanwhile, signalling a further souring of bilateral ties, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly on Monday said an Indian diplomat in the country had been expelled.
Vivek Dehejia said he was “absolutely flabbergasted and shocked” by the news of Canada expelling an Indian diplomat. He said the expulsion was a bombshell thrown by Trudeau on the first day of the Parliamentary session in Canada.
India has, however, rejected the allegations by Canadian PM Trudeau regarding the government’s involvement in the fatal shooting of Nijjar. In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) termed the allegations ‘absurd ‘and ‘motivated’.
“We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister,” said the MEA in an official statement.
In a reciprocal move to the expulsion of its diplomat by Canada, India today summoned the Canadian High Commissioner Cameron MacKay and informed him that it was expelling a senior Canadian diplomat.
"The High Commissioner of Canada to India was summoned today and informed about the decision of the Government of India to expel a senior Canadian diplomat based in India,” a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs said "The concerned diplomat has been asked to leave India within the next five days.
The decision reflects the Government of India’s growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities," it said.