Jaishankar: “Canada, you seem to be very open about providing a haven to organised crime”

TORONTO – The Indian minister gets straight to the point. And after saying that Canada “gives legitimacy to extremists in the name of freedom of speech”, he returns to harshly criticize the federal government led by Justin Trudeau, in some passages of a long interview published today in The Economic Times

In the article (you can read it here), Subrahmanyam Jaishankar – Minister of External Affairs of India – talks about what has changed in India’s foreign policy over the last ten years, addressing various topics, ranging from significant changes in foreign policy under the administration of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on relations with Canada.

Relations deteriorated, after the accusations launched by Justin Trudeau against the Indian government immediately after the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a representative of Sikhism and Khalistani separatists, killed in Surrey, British Columbia, in June last year. For that murder, three young people of Indian origin were arrested last Friday in Edmonton and Trudeau himself was keen to underline that “the investigations are not over”, alluding to the possible connection with the Indian government, by the same Trudeau practically took it for granted immediately after Nijjar’s death.

But “there is no evidence”, they reiterated from India. “Please provide us with information if you have any”. Concepts also expressed by Minister Jaishankar, after the three arrests in Canada.

And in the interview released today, the Indian government member returns to the topic of Canada and Sikhs. To the question “what about anti-India gangs in Canada and pending extradition requests?”, the Minister replies: “That is a concern to us. In fact, it’s very much a part of our conversations, where I would confess, I have not been very successful. We have repeatedly told Canada that you, for some reason, seem to be very open about providing a haven to organised crime” …and then he adds: “In which country do you see posters of foreign leaders and accredited ambassadors with ‘wanted’ on it”. A clear reference, this one, to the big poster placed at the Gurdwara Nanak Dev in Surrey, Canada, where Hardeep Singh Nijjar was killed: the poster indicates the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the same Foreign Affairs Minister, Jaishankar. and the Indian high commissioner in Ottawa, Sanjay Kumar Verma, as “wanted”. The poster was put up by the Gurdwara management committee and the secessionist group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ).

“Pacification” between India and Canada appears very distant.

The poster targeting Modi, Jaishankar and Verma in Surrey, British Columbia (Canada)

In the pic at the top of the article, the page with the interview posted by the Minister Jaishankar in his Twitter X profile – @DrSJaishankar