- Sputnik India, 1920
Canada-India Row
A major diplomatic row has erupted between India and Canada after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau indicated that Indian “agents” could have been behind the killing of pro-Khalistan terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia in June.

Pro-Khalistan Group Defends Trudeau's Minister after Exposé on Afghan Sikhs

© GEOFF ROBINSSikhs protestors for the independence of Khalistan scuffle with police in front of the Indian Consulate in Toronto, Canada, on July 8, 2023.
Sikhs protestors for the independence of Khalistan scuffle with police in front of the Indian Consulate in Toronto, Canada, on July 8, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 28.06.2024
New Delhi has been complaining that Canadian authorities have allowed "operating space" to pro-Khalistan entities who target the territorial integrity of India by demanding the creation of a separate state for Sikhs.
The World Sikh Organisation of Canada (WSO), known to advocate for Khalistan, has jumped to the defence of Canada’s Minister of Emergency Preparedness Harjit Sajjan after a media report claimed that he prioritized the evacuation of Afghan Sikhs over Canadian citizens and Afghans linked to Canada, in the wake of the Taliban* takeover in August 2021. Sajjan was then serving as a Defence Minister under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Reacting to the news report, WSO said in a statement on Thursday that accusations that Minister Harjit Sajjan acted inappropriately have not been substantiated. The group claimed that the assertion appear to be influenced by bias against Sajjan's Sikh identity.

"Allegations that Minister Harjit Sajjan acted inappropriately are unfounded and appear to be influenced by bias against his Sikh identity," stated the group, which has backed Canada in its allegations against India of the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a designated terrorist.

WSO President Danish Singh described the evacuation of vulnerable groups like Afghan Sikhs and Hindus as a "humanitarian duty.”He also echoed Sajjan's views that the minister was being targeted because of his Sikh ethnoreligious group membership.
The Globe and Mail, a Canadian publication, citing multiple sources, claimed that Sajjan's instructions to nearly 225 Afghan Sikhs "took resources away" from getting Canadians evacuated at the time.
Meanwhile, the media exposé has drawn criticism from Canada's former Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier, who heads the People's Party of Canada (PPC). He stressed that "foreigners are literally taking over" the country because of the establishment politicians who constantly indulge ethnic minorities.

"Not only did the minister favour Sikh foreigners over others, this happened at the beginning of the election campaign when Sikh Canadians were viewed as a key voting bloc for the governing Liberals in several ridings," said Bernier, who has been been accusing Trudeau of pandering to pro-Khalistan radicals for votes.

In the meantime, the Afghan Sikhs in question were scheduled to be rescued by India and were eventually flown to India on a special flight.

*under UN sanctions
PM Narendra Modi and PM Justin Trudeau - Sputnik India, 1920, 21.06.2024
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