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Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, who attacked India without proof over a Khalistani’s death, now says he wants to work with India

The meeting between PM Modi and Canadian PM Trudeau took place on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Apulia, Southern Italy where PM Modi was invited as a guest by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

On 15th June, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his desire to work with India to address some “very important issues”. His statement came during the meeting with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Italy. Notably, the diplomatic relations between India and Canada were strained after Trudeau accused India of killing Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil in June 2023. The allegations were made by the Canadian PM in the Parliament soon after he returned from the G20 meeting that was held in India.

The meeting between PM Modi and Canadian PM Trudeau took place on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Apulia, Southern Italy where PM Modi was invited as a guest by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. The meeting was the first between the two leaders since the tensions between the two nations escalated. PMO shared an image of him with Trudeau shaking hands captioned “PM Narendra Modi and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau met during the G7 Summit in Italy.”

The bilateral ties between India and Canada have been under severe strain since the unsubstantiated allegations were made against India regarding Nijjar’s murder. Furthermore, Canada also accused India of meddling with its previous elections without any substantial proof. However, Trudeau’s recent statement indicates the Canadian PM wants to repair the damaged relationships.

On the other hand, bilateral meetings between PM Modi and leaders of several different countries including Italy, France and Japan were held. The meeting between PM Modi and Trudeau was more of a courtesy one. Speaking to the media, Trudeau said, “I’m not going to get into the details of this important, sensitive issue that we need to follow up on, but this was a commitment to work together, in the coming times, to deal with some critical issues.”

Canadian Press news agency quoted spokesperson Ann-Clara Vaillancourt of the Canadian PM office saying, “Of course, there are important issues between our two countries right now. You can appreciate that we won’t be making any further statements at this time.” The office added that the two leaders had a “brief discussion on the bilateral relationship”.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s murder and Canada’s accusations against India

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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