Nijjar killing: ‘Majority of Canadians want Ottawa to reduce tensions with New Delhi’ | World News - Hindustan Times
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Nijjar killing: ‘Majority of Canadians want Ottawa to reduce tensions with New Delhi’

Oct 12, 2023 10:47 PM IST

The friction between the two countries continues over the killing of Khalistani figure Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18. India has accused Canada of being a safe haven for terrorists, irked by the activities of pro-Khalistan elements

A large majority of Canadians believe Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement in the House of Commons that there were “credible allegations” of a potential link between Indian agents and the murder of Khalistani figure Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18. At the same time, a majority also want Ottawa to decrease tensions with New Delhi.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (front right) greets a vendor during a stop in downtown Kitchener, Ontario, for the start of Oktoberfest, on October 6, 2023. (AP)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (front right) greets a vendor during a stop in downtown Kitchener, Ontario, for the start of Oktoberfest, on October 6, 2023. (AP)

A poll by Nanos Research, commissioned by the outlet CTV News, found that 47% of respondents believed and another 27% “somewhat believe” Trudeau “when he says the government has obtained intelligence that indicates India may be behind the killing of this Canadian citizen on Canadian soil”.

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A small percentage, below a fifth of the sample, said they did not believe or somewhat did not believe Trudeau.

At 79%, older Canadians, over 55 years of age, were more likely to believe Trudeau, than the younger cohort of those between 18 and 34, who were at 69%.

Regardless of that belief, Canadians over half, 57%, wanted Canada to reduce tensions with India and engage in diplomatic talks with relation to Nijjar’s killing. About a quarter wanted Canada to further investigate the allegations, while about 10% wanted Canada to be patient and do nothing.

The survey had a sample of 1,058 Canadians.

It came as friction between the two countries continues. India has sought downsizing of Canada’s diplomats in the country to bring about parity with its own strength in Canada. However, Canada has yet to pull too many diplomats even as the stipulated deadline of October 10 passed. New Delhi has also continued to accuse Canada of being a safe haven for terrorists, irked by the activities of pro-Khalistan elements.

Speaking to the media in Ottawa on Wednesday, Canada’s foreign affairs minister Melanie Joly said diplomacy with India would work better if conversations were kept “private”.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Anirudh Bhattacharya is a Toronto-based commentator on North American issues, and an author. He has also worked as a journalist in New Delhi and New York spanning print, television and digital media. He tweets as @anirudhb.

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