US on Nijjar's killing

WASHINGTON DC: The US has said it is in close coordination with Canada on allegations regarding the Indian government’s involvement in the fatal shooting of Khalistan terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

“We remain in close coordination with our Canadian colleagues on this question,” US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said while responding to a question related to Nijjar’s killing in Canada.

Miller’s remarks came during a daily press briefing on Monday (US local time).

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently alleged that the Indian government was behind the fatal shooting of Nijjar.

Nijjar, who was a designated terrorist in India, was gunned down outside a Gurdwara, in a parking area in Canada’s Surrey, British Columbia on June 18.

Trudeau, during a debate in the Canadian Parliament, claimed 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.

However, India has outrightly rejected the claims, calling it ‘absurd’ and ‘motivated’.

Notably, Canada has yet to provide any public evidence to support the claim about the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Miller said the US has engaged with the Indian government on a number of occasions to urge them to cooperate with Canada’s investigation.

He said US State Secretary Antony Blinken had an opportunity to discuss the issue with Foreign Minister S Jaishankar during their meeting on Friday.

Meanwhile, Trudeau has said that Ottawa wants to “work constructively with India” regarding the allegations.

While addressing a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Trudeau said, “In regards to India, Canada has shared the credible allegations that I talked about on Monday. With India, we did that many weeks ago. We are there to work constructively with India and we hope that they engage with us so that we can get to the bottom of this very serious matter.”

EAM Jaishankar recently said that the ongoing problem with Canada has been there for some years because of the “permissiveness” by the government regarding terrorism, extremism and violence in the country.

Jaishankar said that the current situation can’t be termed a “deadlock”, adding that the Indian government is open to looking at any specific and relevant thing shared by the Canadian side in connection with the issue.

Addressing a press conference in Washington DC on Friday, Jaishankar said, “Well, I don’t know if I would use the term deadlock…The issue is as follows: The Canadians have made some allegations. We have pointed out to them that this is not the Government of India’s policy and if they are prepared to share with us specifics and anything relevant, we are also open to looking at it. So in that sense, that’s where the matter stands”.

“But what we do not want to see is an incident treated in isolation because then that somewhere does not convey the right picture,” he added.

The EAM said that the ongoing problem with Canada is because of the “permissiveness” regarding terrorism, extremism and violence in the country.

India has suspended its visa services in Canada, following Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau’s allegations of Indian involvement in the killing.

Amid strained ties, India issued an advisory for its citizens and those who are travelling to Canada to exercise “utmost caution in view of growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence” in the country. (ANI)