US president and other Western leaders have expressed concern over direct killing of Indian Prime Minister Modi at G20: Financial Times.
US President Joe Biden and other leaders expressed concerns to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G20 summit earlier this month over Canada’s claim that New Delhi was involved in the assassination of a Sikh separatist leader, the Financial Times (FT) reported.
Several members of the Five Eyes – an intelligence-sharing network that includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States – discussed the killing of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar directly with Modi , the newspaper reported Thursday, citing three people familiar with the G20 discussions.
Biden and other leaders raised concerns at the summit after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged allies to intervene directly with Modi, the newspaper reported.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the FT report, according to the Reuters news agency, but a spokesperson said on Thursday that the United States was deeply concerned by the allegations.
India has rejected Canada’s allegations that it was officially involved in the killing, calling them “absurd.”
India’s foreign ministry said Canada had not shared any specific information about the killing of Nijjar, 45, who was shot dead in June outside a Sikh temple he led in the city of Surrey in the Canadian province of British Columbia.
Nijjar, a plumber born in India but who became a Canadian citizen in 2007, was a strong supporter of a Sikh homeland in India in the form of an independent Khalistani state and was designated a “terrorist” by Indian authorities in July 2020.
At the time of his assassination, Nijjar was attempting to organize an unofficial referendum of the Sikh diaspora on independence from India.
The Associated Press reported Thursday, citing an anonymous source familiar with the matter, that the allegation of India’s involvement in Nijjar’s killing was based on human and surveillance intelligence, including signals intelligence from diplomats. Indians in Canada.
The Canadian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, did not say which member of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance provided some of the information on Indian diplomats nor gave specific details. of what the information contained.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) first reported details of the intelligence on Thursday. The CBC, citing Canadian sources, also reported that no Indian official, interviewed behind closed doors, denied the allegation that there is evidence suggesting Indian government involvement in Nijjar’s death.
India’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on the CBC report.
“Deep concerns about allegations”
Trudeau’s allegations were followed by the expulsion of a diplomat by each country. The growing conflict has also placed some Western countries in a difficult position, with Canada being their long-time partner and ally, while at the same time the United States and other Western countries are seeking to establish strong ties with New Delhi to counter China’s influence in the Asia-Pacific region.
U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Thursday there is no “wedge” between the United States and Canada over Ottawa’s allegations that India participated in Nijjar’s killing .
“I have seen efforts in the press to drive a wedge between the United States and Canada on this issue,” Sullivan said.
“I strongly reject the idea that there is a divide between the United States and Canada,” he told reporters, emphasizing that “we are deeply concerned by these allegations.”
On Thursday, the company that processes Indian visas in Canada announced that visa services have been suspended until further notice. India’s BLS visa application center gave no further details.
The suspension means Canadians – who are among the main visitors to India – will not be able to travel to India unless they already have a visa.
New Delhi’s concerns over Sikh separatist groups in Canada have long strained relations, but the two countries have maintained strong defense and trade ties and share strategic interests in the face of China’s global ambitions. China.
In March, Modi’s government summoned the Canadian high commissioner in New Delhi, its top diplomat in the country, to complain about Sikh independence protests in Canada.
A Sikh uprising rocked northern India in the 1970s and 1980s until it was crushed by a government crackdown in which thousands were killed, including prominent Sikh leaders.
While the uprising ended decades ago, the Indian government warned that Sikh separatists were trying to stage a comeback.