NEW YORK: Foreign Secretary of Pakistan Syrus Qazi said that the allegation by Canada of India’s involvement in Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s murder was not surprising. During a media interaction in the 78th UNGA session, he commented that whatever happened in Canada has not surprised Pakistan.
The allegation by the Canadian government on India came at a time when the foreign secretary and caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar are on a five-day visit to the US for the 78th UNGA session. Canada expelled the Indian envoy who they claimed was also the head of the intelligence agency of India. In reply, India did the same with the Canadian ambassador.
According to the statement by Syrus Qazi, Pakistan arrested an operative of the Indian Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) – Kulbhushan Yadav, from Balochistan in March 2016 and hence did not find anything unusual in the allegations by the Canadian PM. He added that Pakistan is well aware of activities by India as it has been involved in destabilising Pakistan.
Allegations by Canada on India
Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, said that authorities actively pursued credible allegations that link New Delhi’s agents to the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India quickly dismissed the accusation by calling it absurd and baseless.
Nijjar was an outspoken supporter of a separate Sikh homeland – Khalistan. In India, the Khalistan movement is considered as a national security threat. Several groups are listed as terrorist organizations under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) of India for supporting the movement. Hardeep Singh Nijjar appeared on the Home Ministry’s list of UAPA terrorists. Indian National Investigation Agency accused him of trying to radicalize the Sikh community and inciting Sikhs to vote for secession.
The situation has affected the diplomatic ties between India & Canada. New Delhi has been unhappy over the active Sikh separatist activity (Khalistan movement) across Canada.