Lazy eyes listen
The US has urged India to collaborate with Canada’s probe into the death of a Sikh separatist leader, according to Reuters, citing an unnamed US official.
Neither party publicly stated that the subject was discussed during a meeting on Thursday in Washington between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
Earlier this month, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused the Indian government of “possible” complicity in the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar – without offering evidence.
While India has denied the accusation, Canada’s partners in the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence-sharing partnership, which also includes the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, have expressed “concerns,” and the United States has stated its support for Canada.
“Reports that Canada asked the US to publicly condemn the murder and that we refused are false,” a senior US administration official told CBC News last week.
The Indian foreign minister stated earlier this week that New Delhi was willing to investigate any “specific” evidence provided by Canada, but that it had not yet been done.
“One, we told the Canadians that this [extrajudicial killings] is not the government of India’s policy,” Jaishankar said at an event in New York ahead of his address to the UN General Assembly. “Two, we told the Canadians that look, if you have something specific, if you have something relevant, let us know – we are open to looking at it”.
In June, Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot dead outside a temple in British Columbia. In 2020, India labelled him as a terrorist.
On Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was certain Blinken will raise the issue with Jaishankar.
“The Americans have been with us in speaking to the Indian government about how important it is that they be involved in following up on the credible allegations that agents of the Indian government killed a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil,” Trudeau said during a press conference in Quebec. Previously, US authorities openly urged the Indian government to participate with the Canadian inquiry.
According to Indian media, Jaishankar “exchanged notes on global developments” with Blinken on Friday.