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‘Where’s the evidence?’: NZ Deputy PM raises questions over Canada’s allegations against India in Nijjar killing, Khalistani Terrorist Pannun threatens him

New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters asked Canada to show evidence, if it had any, that could link India with the alleged murder of the Khalistani terrorist, Nijjar.  

New Zealand, a Five-Eyes intelligence ally of Canada, has raised questions on Ottawa’s allegations of Indian involvement in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Notably, New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters asked Canada to show evidence, if it had any, that could link India with the alleged murder of the Khalistani terrorist, Nijjar.  

In an interview with The Indian Express on Tuesday (March 12th), Peters was asked if Canada had shared information on the Nijjar case and whether New Zealand had conveyed its position to India. In response, Peters maintained that the incidents occurred when a different government was in power in their country. Despite New Zealand being an integral member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, he cast doubt on the “quality” and “reliability” of information shared by the intelligence group.

Peters said, “Well, I wasn’t here, it was handled by the previous government. But look, sometimes when you’re hearing Five-Eyes information, you’re hearing it and saying nothing. It is coming past you. You don’t know the value or the quality of it, but you’re pleased to have it. You don’t know whether there is going to be substantial material value or nothing. But the very, very critical information that matters… This was mainly handled by the previous government.”

A veteran politician of four-and-a-half decades and a legal expert, Peters went on to raise questions on Canada’s stance. He argued that if Canada had any evidence against India, it should have shared it by now, stressing that this means that the Justin Trudeau government has no evidence to back his allegations against India.  

Deputy PM Peters is also the Foreign Minister of New Zealand. He added, “As a trained lawyer, I look okay, so where’s the case? Where’s the evidence? Where’s the finding right here, right now? Well, there isn’t one.” 

Notably, New Zealand is one of the members of the Five-Eyes intelligence alliance along with Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia. It was claimed that Canada had shared intelligence related to the Nijjar killing with its alliance partners, however, New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister’s recent remarks point otherwise. 

Conspicuously, this is the first time that a Five-Eyes partner has directly raised questions on Canada’s allegations, sharing the Indian stance on the issue.

According to reports, Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun has issued a threat against New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters following his critical remarks on Canada’s allegations. He has been issuing threats of violent attacks against India’s top diplomat in Canada. Now following Peter’s support to India in the Nijjar fiasco, the Khalistani separatist has also threatened to attack Indian diplomats in New Zealand.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Peters who is currently on a four-day visit to India from March 10-13 held a bilateral meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday (12th March). Before coming to Delhi, he also went to Gujarat. 

Peters (78) became Deputy Prime Minister after the Centre-Right parties ousted the Left-leaning Labour Party, in November last year.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ruined ties with India over Nijjar fiasco

On 18th September 2023, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dug a deep grave for the India-Canada relationship as he accused Indian agents of being involved in the murder of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil.

In the Canadian Parliament, he said, “Over the past number of weeks, Canadian Security Agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between the agents of the Government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar.” 

“In the strongest possible terms, I continue to urge the government of India to cooperate with Canada to get to the bottom of this matter,” Trudeau added in his statement.

His allegations led to a diplomatic standoff between India and Canada. Hitting back at the Trudeau government, the Indian government denounced Canada’s allegations as “absurd” and “motivated” and asked Ottawa to furnish solid proof.

The Indian government also pointed out that for internal political compulsions, Trudeau was pandering to the Khalistani extremists. Nearly six months after he aired the allegations in the Canadian Parliament and nine months after Nijjar’s killing, Trudeau’s government has not yet shared any “credible” evidence in this matter. 

Nijjar, who was designated a terrorist by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2020, was shot and killed as he came out of a Gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, on the evening of June 18, 2023. Video footage of Nijjar’s killing recently surfaced online which Canadian media described as “contract killing”. 

Amid Canada’s failure to indict Indian involvement, “credible” reports had indicated that it could have been a case of “gang violence”. 

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