Politics, World

With election in India over, time to tackle ‘serious issues,’ Trudeau says

Murder of Canadian Sikh still a stumbling block between two countries

Barry Ellsworth  | 19.06.2024 - Update : 20.06.2024
With election in India over, time to tackle ‘serious issues,’ Trudeau says


Canada and India are aligned on big issues, but in the wake of the murder of a Canadian Sikh, “keeping Canadians safe” must be addressed, said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In a wide-ranging interview on Monday with CBC News, Trudeau spoke on a number of issues, including Canada-India relations.

There is “alignment on a number of big issues that we need to work on as democracies,” he said when asked about relations with India. “But now that (Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi) is through his election, I think there is an opportunity for us to engage, including on some very serious issues around national security and keeping Canadians safe.”

Trudeau’s accusation of “credible allegations” that New Delhi was involved in the assassination of Canadian Sikh Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil on June 18, 2023 opened a rift between the two countries. Nijjar was a vocal leader in the Canadian Sikh community, advocating for separation and the creation of a Sikh state in India.

Trudeau was asked if there is co-operation by India in the Nijjar murder investigation.

“There is work ongoing very much,” he replied.

Trudeau told the Canadian Parliament last September that he had expressed his deep concerns over Nijjar’s killing “in no uncertain terms” to Modi at the G20 Summit earlier that month, the Washington Post reported. Modi denied any involvement.

Canadian police have arrested four Indian nationals and they have been charged with first-degree murder in Nijjar’s death.

Trudeau shook hands with Modi days ago at the G7 Summit in Italy.

“One of the really good things about summits,” Trudeau said during the CBC interview, is that “you have an opportunity to engage directly.”

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