Home News and Politics Explosive Clash Between India and Canada Tests US Unity in the Region, Analysts Warn

Explosive Clash Between India and Canada Tests US Unity in the Region, Analysts Warn

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Explosive Clash Between India and Canada Tests US Unity in the Region, Analysts Warn

India-Canada Dispute Highlights Concerns about Human Rights and Democracy

The diplomatic feud between India and Canada has brought international attention to India’s human rights issues and its recent moves towards illiberal democracy. According to a report by the US-based Freedom House think tank, India ranked just 66 out of 100 in terms of democratic freedom, placing it between Hungary and Lesotho. This situation presents a delicate balancing act for the Biden administration, which views India as an important security partner but also wants to address concerns about China.

US allies in the Asia-Pacific region, such as Australia and New Zealand, face a similar challenge as they aim to avoid criticizing India while dealing with the rising tensions with China. The dispute between India and Canada further complicates this situation. Despite the tensions, experts believe that India-Canada ties are solid and people-centric, and any decline in the relationship is likely to be temporary.

The Impact on Security and the Indo-Pacific Strategy

The dispute between India and Canada is unlikely to affect the Quad security bloc, which includes India, Australia, Japan, and the US, as well as the US concept of the Indo-Pacific region. These alliances will remain intact as they recognize India’s strategic importance and leadership. However, the incident does highlight India’s sensitivity towards Sikh separatism, and its concerns about Western countries not doing enough to manage the perceived threat.

A Warning and a Need for Security Cooperation

The row between India and Canada serves as a warning to the US and its allies about how India interprets international rules and norms. It also emphasizes the need to take India’s security concerns more seriously, as they have the potential to harm bilateral ties. The Western powers, including the US, need India more than ever, given its significance in the Indo-Pacific region. Canada also aims to solidify its relations with India for its future outreach in the region.

Implications for Sovereignty and Political Ramifications

The response from the West to the India-Canada dispute has been quite muted, suggesting that India’s position and influence in the democratic camp will not be diluted. However, the challenge to sovereignty resulting from the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar needs to be addressed publicly to prevent domestic political backlash. Failure to do so could have political implications for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the leaders of other Five Eyes countries.

The discovery of Nijjar’s killing via intercepted classified messages highlights the irony of illegal actions in this dispute. While the focus has been on India’s involvement, the initial interception of exchanges between Indian diplomats by Canada and the US has not received much attention.

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