- 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.

Canadian Foreign Policy is Thoroughly Compromised by Khalistanis: Ex-FM

© Photo : Social MediaCanada PM Justin Trudeau at Khalsa Day Celebrations in Toronto
Canada PM Justin Trudeau at Khalsa Day Celebrations in Toronto - Sputnik India, 1920, 30.06.2024
A former Canadian Foreign Minister has echoed concerns about the influence wielded on Canada's foreign as well as domestic policies by pro-Khalistan radicals, who are viewed as a crucial political base of PM Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party.
Canadian politician Maxime Bernier, who heads the People’s Party of Canada (PPC), has hit out at country's Emergency Preparedness Minister Harjit Sajjan over a news report that he priortised the evacuation of nearly 225 Afghan Sikhs over Canadian citizens and Afghan allies from Kabul in the wake of the Taliban* takeover of Afghanistan's capital in August 2021.
Sajjan, a close aide of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, was serving as Canada's Defence Minister at the time.
"Everything about this story demonstrates how Canadian domestic as well as foreign policy is now thoroughly distorted and compromised by ethnic politics," Bernier, who has also previously served as Canada's Foreign Minister, told Sputnik India.
Bernier described the media expose against Sajjan as "extremely concerning".
"The Globe and Mail quotes military sources who say this directive took resources away from getting Canadian citizens and Afghans allies out of the country, some of which are still stuck in Afghanistan to this day," the Canadian politician stated.
Bernier completely rejected the defence put up by Sajjan and his allies, including pro-Khalistan group World Sikh Organisation of Canada (WSO), after the surfacing of the story.
Sajjan, who is known to have family links to the pro-Khalistan movement in Canada, claimed that he was being targeted because of his Sikh heritage.
"The minister, as well as a Sikh interest group that lobbied him to evacuate these people, claim that they are being unfairly targeted because they are Sikh, and that this is in fact not a case of favouritism towards Sikhs. But, of course, it is, otherwise no directive would have been issued by the minister to prioritize a small group of people out of the thousands that could have been evacuated by Canadian special forces in Kabul at that time," the PPC leader argued.
Bernier highlighted that the evacuation had taken place at the beginning of the federal election campaign, wherein Sikh-Canadians were viewed as a "key voting bloc" for the incumbent Liberals in several ridings.
Further, he went on to question the silence on part of Canada's main opposition Conservative Party and the New Democratic Party (NDP), another major political party which is a coalition partner of Trudeau.
"They (Sikh-Canadians) are also of course a key voting bloc for the Conservative Party and the New Democratic Party, which explains why no one from these parties have directly criticized the minister’s action since the story came out. All three parties are pandering to Sikh immigrants, including Khalistani supporters, and prioritizing the interests of ethnic lobby groups instead of the national interest of all Canadians," Bernier charged.
The former top diplomat has been critical of Canada's mainstream political parties for "pandering" to Sikhs, especially radical pro-Khalistani elements, for political gains
The expose against Sajjan surfaces at a time when India has been extremely critical of Canadian political establishment for allowing "operating space" to radical pro-Khalistan supporters, who have been advocating for secession of Indian state of Punjab to carve out a separate ‘Sikh homeland’.
PM Narendra Modi and PM Justin Trudeau - Sputnik India, 1920, 21.06.2024
Canada-India Row
India Strongly Protests to Canada After Mock Modi Trial
*under UN sanctions
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