Inquiry points to India’s role in influencing Canadian politics | World News - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Inquiry points to India’s role in influencing Canadian politics

May 04, 2024 06:15 AM IST

The findings of the inquiry into foreign interference in Canada allege that India has been involved in "activities that seek to influence Canadian communities…"

The interim report of the public inquiry into foreign interference in Canada has accused India of such activity and of engaging “in a range of activities that seek to influence Canadian communities and politicians.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP) (AP)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP) (AP)

However, the Initial Report, released on Friday morning, pointed out the focus of such Indian influence efforts were driven by concerns over Khalistani separatism in Canada. The report noted that India’s undertakes foreign interference activities “which aim to align Canada’s position with India’s interests on key issues, particularly with respect to how the Indian government perceives Canada-based supporters of an independent Sikh homeland (Khalistan).”

Importantly, it recognises “Canada-based Khalistani violent extremism” though that is described as “relatively small” and adds that India does not differentiate between that and “lawful, pro-Khalistani political advocacy.”

These activities, it said, “may not be directed at influencing Canada’s democratic institutions, but are still significant.”

“India directed foreign interference activities related to the 2019 and 2021 general elections,” it said, adding that “proxy agents may have attempted to interfere in democratic processes, reportedly including through the clandestine provision of illicit financial support to various Canadian politicians as a means of attempting to secure the election of pro-India candidates or gaining influence over candidates who take office. In some instances, the candidates may never know their campaigns received illicit funds.”

It noted, “There was no indication of Indian-based disinformation campaigns in the 2021 general election.”

The interim report was issued by the Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions, which is headed by Justice Marie-Josee Hogue and the final report, with recommendations, has to be delivered by December 31.

The report noted that the country’s agencies view “China as the biggest threat to the Canadian electoral space by a significant margin.”

Other countries engaged in such activity are identified as Russia, India, Pakistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran, among others.

The report stated Pakistan “has conducted foreign interference against Canada primarily to promote political, security and economic stability in Pakistan and to counter India’s growing global influence.”

India has already rejected as “baseless allegations” questions about any interference in Canada. In April, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said, in a statement, “It is not Government of India’s policy to interfere in democratic processes of other countries. In fact, quite on the reverse, it is Canada which has been interfering in our internal affairs. We have been raising this issue regularly with them. We continue to call on Canada to take effective measures to address our core concerns.”

Get World Cup ready with Crickit! From live scores to match stats, catch all the action here. Explore now!

See more

Get Current Updates on World News, US News , Hollywood News , Anime and Top Headlines from around the world.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, June 24, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On