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  4. India expels senior Canadian diplomat in tit-for-tat move over Khalistan terrorist Hardeep Nijjar's death

India expels senior Canadian diplomat in tit-for-tat move over Khalistan terrorist Hardeep Nijjar's death

India also raised concerns over the "interference of Canadian diplomats" in the country's internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee New Delhi Updated on: September 19, 2023 12:17 IST
Canadian High Commissioner to India Cameron MacKay leaving
Image Source : ANI Canadian High Commissioner to India Cameron MacKay leaving MEA headquarters

After Canada expelled an Indian diplomat, India on Tuesday retaliated by summoning the High Commissioner of Canada,?Cameron MacKay, and announcing the expulsion of a senior Canadian diplomat New Delhi. This comes after diplomatic tensions between India and Canada escalated following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegations of Indian government playing a role in the death of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

"The High Commissioner of Canada to India was summoned today and informed about the decision of the Government of India to expel a senior Canadian diplomat based in India," said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in a statement.

The Canadian diplomat has been asked to leave India within the next five days. The decision was made to reflect India's concerns over the interference of Canadian diplomats in internal matters and their involvement in activities aimed against India.

On Monday, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly announced that Pavan Kumar Rai, the head of India's intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in Canada has been expelled as a consequence, citing a threat to the country's sovereignty.

What triggered the India-Canada tussle?

Amid tense relations between India and Canada, the latter country's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday alleged that the Indian government played a role in the killing of wanted Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. "Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the Government of India," Trudeau said in the House of Commons.

"Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty. It is contrary to the fundamental rules by which free, open and democratic societies conduct themselves," he added.

Later, India reacted sharply to allegations raised by Trudeau, calling them "absurd and motivated". "Such unsubstantiated allegations seek to shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The inaction of the Canadian Government on this matter has been a long-standing and continuing concern," said the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement.

India reiterated its request to the Canadian government to take effective action against elements operating in their country against India.

The tit-for-tat expulsion of foreign diplomats marks the latest development in souring relations between India and Canada. Last week, Canada cancelled a trade mission to India scheduled for October and trade talks between the two countries have been paused.

On the sidelines of the G20 Summit in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed strong concerns to Trudeau over Canada's handling of pro-Khalistani activities. Trudeau later said that Canada will defend freedom of expression in the country and that “the actions of the few do not represent the entire community or Canada”, in regard to the Khalistani community.

Canada-based pro-Khalistan terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was declared a 'wanted terrorist' by the Indian government, was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen at the parking lot of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in the Punjabi-dominated Surrey city of British Columbia province.

ALSO READ |?Who was Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Khalistani terrorist at centre of India-Canada tussle? All you need to know

ALSO READ |?Canada expels Indian diplomat as Trudeau blames New Delhi for 'killing' of wanted Khalistani terrorist

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