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Canadian Deputy PM stumped by the question of why Hardeep Singh Nijjar went from no-fly list to tribute in parliament, says it was right thing to do

The journalist asked why Canadian parliament paid tribute to Nijjar, who was on no-fly list and his bank accounts were frozen earlier by the same govt

Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland was stumped when a journalist questioned her about the government’s change of heart about the murdered Khalistani of terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. The recent “tribute” or silence observed by the Canadian Parliament to mark his one-year death anniversary was brought up by the journalist during a press conference. The journalist highlighted that during the Khalistani separatist’s lifetime, the Canadian government regarded him as a threat, but paid him tribute after his death.

“I have a question regarding Hardeep Singh Nijjar. This week, the Canadian Parliament paid tribute to him but before his assassination, he was on the ‘no-fly list’ and the same government put him there. His bank accounts were frozen. What’s behind all of this sudden change,” the journalist asked.

Chrystia Freeland who is also the Finance Minister was caught off guard by the question. She first thanked him and called it an “important question” after which she tried to scrabble together an appropriate response. She said, “I do want to start by saying that this week was a very sad and solemn anniversary of the murder. I was in the House of Commons and I guess all three of us were (referring to the two men sitting beside her). It was important to have a moment of silence to recognise this was the murder of a Canadian in Canada on Canadian soil and that is entirely unacceptable. Second of all, I do want to say I was very proud of the prime minister and of the strong position he took after the murder.”

She further alleged, “It was the right thing to do but it wasn’t an easy thing to do and the prime minister made absolutely correctly very clear that for the government of Canada, for our government all Canadians are the same, all Canadians have the same rights and murder on Candian soil is just not allowed. The government of Canada will enforce our laws and protect all Canadians regardless of who is threatening them and what the consequences might be. Doing that was a big thing for the prime minister and I think all of us should face safer and more secure knowing that he will stand for Canadians and against the killers of Canadians no matter what.”

Chrystia Freeland thanked MP Randeep Singh Sarai and MP Sukhminder Singh Dhaliwal “specifically” who raised the issue directly with her and the prime minister and reiterated, “We also had intelligence information but they were very very strong in ensuring that we understood what was happening in the community and threats that people were facing.”

However, Chrystia Freeland completely avoided the question of why the sudden support for Nijjar after his death when the same govt had put restrictions on him when he was alive. The minister didn’t comment anything on why Nijjar was on a no-fly list, why his bank accounts were frozen, and why such a person was paid tribute in the parliament.

The assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar on 18th June 2023, in Surrey Canada, continues to strain the relationship between India and Canada. Ottawa has relentlessly accused India of the murder on the basis of “credible allegations,” however, in the absence of any evidence. On the other hand, New Delhi has repeatedly slammed Justin Trudeau’s administration for pandering to the separatist elements for political gains. Notably, four Indian nationals Karan Brar, Amandeep Singh, Kamalpreet Singh and Karanpreet Singh who were linked to Lawrence Bishnoi gang were arrested in May 2024 for killing him.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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