Justin Trudeau rakes up Nijjar killing again, says earlier govt was 'cosy' with India | 5 points | World News - Hindustan Times
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Justin Trudeau rakes up Nijjar killing again, says earlier govt was 'cosy' with India | 5 points

Apr 11, 2024 05:54 PM IST

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau said his government has always stood up to defend minorities in Canada and the rights of minorities to speak out.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has raked up the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar and claimed that his government stood up for Canadians. Justin Trudeau, who testified at a public inquiry looking into foreign interference in Canada's electoral process said that his government was firm on the issue of protecting Canadians.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau testifies before the Commission on Foreign Interference in elections and democratic institutions in Ottawa on April 10. (AFP)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau testifies before the Commission on Foreign Interference in elections and democratic institutions in Ottawa on April 10. (AFP)

During a hearing of the foreign interference commission, which is headed by Quebec judge Marie-Josee Hogue, Justin Trudeau accused the previous Conservative government in the country of being "cosy" with the current Indian government, news agency ANI reported.

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Justin Trudeau claimed that China tried to meddle in the last two Canadian elections but the results were not impacted and it was "improbable" Beijing preferred any one party over another.

In sworn testimony before a commission conducting a public inquiry into alleged foreign interference in the 2019 and 2021 Canadian elections, Justin Trudeau answered questions about intelligence briefings he had received and asserted the elections were "free and fair."

Trudeau set up the commission last year under pressure from opposition legislators unhappy about media reports on China's possible role in the elections.

What Justin Trudeau said? 5 points

  1. Asked about foreign interference during the 2019 elections and redacted parts in the 2019 annual report of the NSI, Justin Trudeau said, “In a public setting, I can't speak to redactions made for national security. But, I will say that the principle that anyone who comes to Canada from anywhere in the world has all the rights of a Canadian to be free from extortion, coercion, and interference from a country that they left behind and how we have stood up for Canadians, including in the very serious case that I brought forward to Parliament of the killing of (Hardeep Singh) Nijjar, demonstrates our government's commitment to defending the rights and freedoms of Canadians.”
  2. "And the suggestion that we haven't and we won't do everything we can to defend Canadian rules and values and defend Canadians from foreign interference is simply misplaced," Justine Trudeau is heard in a video of the inquiry proceedings shared by Canadian newspaper The Global and Mail.
  3. "Our government has always stood up to defend minorities in Canada and the rights of minorities to speak out even if it irritates their home countries overseas," the Canadian prime minister said.
  4. Asked whether appropriate steps were not taken to expose foreign interference, Justin Trudeau replied, "I think that's certainly a question one needs to ask of the previous conservative government that was known for its very cosy relationship with the current Indian government. Whereas our government has always stood up to defend minorities in Canada and the rights of minorities to speak out, even if it irritates their home countries overseas," according to the video shared by The Global and Mail.
  5. In a classified February interview with the Commission of Inquiry, Justin Trudeau called it extremely damaging to the confidence of the people of Canada in the democratic process. A public summary of the interview was revealed at the inquiry on Wednesday, where Trudeau testified at an open hearing. Trudeau expressed his frustration that intelligence leaked to the media had been “sensationalized” and taken out of context, Canada-based CTV News reported.

India-Canada ties

The relations between India and Canada came under severe strain following Justin Trudeau’s allegations last year of a “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June 2023.

Days after Justin Trudeau’s allegations, India announced temporarily suspending the issuance of visas to Canadian citizens and asked Ottawa to downsize its diplomatic presence in the country.

India has rejected Justin Trudeau's allegations as "absurd" and "motivated" and accused Canada of giving space to Khalistani extremists targeting India.

India had designated Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020.

(With inputs from ANI)

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