The US is “deeply concerned” about the allegations raised by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau against India on the killing of a Khalistani separatist in Canada, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. This has come even as, admitting for the first time, a top US diplomat confirmed that there was “shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners” that had prompted Trudeau’s offensive allegation about Indian agents’ involvement in the killing of a Khalistani extremist on Canadian soil, according to a media report on Saturday.
“Shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners"
There was “shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners” that informed Trudeau’s public allegation of a “potential” link between the government of India and the murder of a Canadian citizen, CTV News Channel, Canada's 24-hour all-news network, reported quoting the US Ambassador to Canada David Cohen. The Five Eyes network is an intelligence alliance of the US, the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand and is both surveillancebased and signals intelligence. Tensions flared between India and Canada early this week following Trudeau’s explosive allegations.
India angrily rejected the allegations as “absurd” and “motivated”, and expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a tit-fortat move to Ottawa's expulsion of an Indian official over the case. Blinken, meanwhile, said the US is “closely coordinating” with Canada on the issue and wants to see “accountability” in the case, Blinken said.
The US has engaged directly with India on the issue and the most productive thing would be the completion of this investigation, he said.
"Deeply concerned about the allegations"
“We are deeply concerned about the allegations that (Canadian) Prime Minister (Justin) Trudeau has raised,” Blinken said at a press conference. “Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the government of India and the killing” of Hardeep Singh Nijjar on June 18 in British Columbia, Trudeau had said in the Canadian Parliament earlier this week. Nijjar, 45, the chief of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force, was one of India’s most-wanted terrorists who carried a cash reward of Rs10 lakh on his head and was shot dead outside a gurdwara in Surrey in the western Canadian province of British Columbia on June 18.
We want to see accountability: Blinken
“We have been consulting throughout very closely with our Canadian colleagues — and not just consulting, coordinating with them — on this issue. It is critical that the Canadian investigation proceed and it would be important that India work with the Canadians on this investigation. We want to see accountability, and it’s important that the investigation run its course and lead to that result,” Blinken said.
“We’ve been engaged directly with the Indian government as well. I think the most productive thing that can happen now is to see this investigation move forward and be completed. We would hope that our Indian friends would cooperate with that investigation as well,” he said.
“We are extremely vigilant about any instances of alleged transnational repression, something we take very, very seriously. It’s important more broadly for the international system that any country that might consider engaging in such acts not do so. So it’s something that we’re also focused on in a much broader way,” Blinken said.