Hardeep Nijjar killing: Trudeau says Canada not keen to escalate tensions with India
On September 21, Global Affairs Canada, the country’s foreign ministry, had said it was pulling some diplomats from its missions in India due to threats received on various social media platforms
New Delhi: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that Ottawa does not want to escalate tensions with India amid reports that India has asked several Canadian diplomats to leave the country.
Speaking to the media in Ottawa on Tuesday morning, Trudeau said, “We’re not looking to escalate.”
Asked specifically whether his government will retaliate over the action from New Delhi, the Canadian PM said, “we’re going to be doing the work that matters in continuing to have constructive relations with India through this extremely difficult time”.
He added, “Obviously we’re going through an extremely challenging time. That’s why it’s so important for us to have diplomats on the ground working with the Indian government there to support Canadians and Canadian families.”
Canada has its largest diplomatic establishment in India and New Delhi had earlier been clear it wanted the numbers pared.
On September 21, Global Affairs Canada, the country’s foreign ministry, had said it was pulling some diplomats from its missions in India due to threats received on various social media platforms.
“As a result, and out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to temporarily adjust staff presence in India. All of our locations are staffed by diplomats and locally-engaged staff to ensure business and operational continuity,” a spokesperson had said at the time.
Canada had also sought additional security around its missions in the country, which include the High Commission in New Delhi, as well as consulates in Mumbai, Chandigarh, and Bangalore.
That came three days after Trudeau made a statement in the House of Commons about “credible allegations” of a potential link between Indian agents and the killing of Khalistani figure Hardeep Nijjar. He was gunned down in the parking lot of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara that he headed in the town of Surrey in the province of British Columbia on June 18.