Home News and Politics Time to Reflect and Move Forward from Disagreement with Trudeau

Time to Reflect and Move Forward from Disagreement with Trudeau

Time to Reflect and Move Forward from Disagreement with Trudeau

Title: Bilateral Relations with Canada and the Khalistan Issue: Reflecting on Realities and Moving Forward

The recent allegations against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have caused a stir, but it’s time to assess the fallout and chart a way forward. This issue should be isolated to bilateral relations and not impact Canada’s relationships with other nations. Taking into account several realities and facts, it’s crucial to reflect on the situation and find a way to move on.

Understanding Canadian Policies:
It’s important to acknowledge that Canada provides shelter to various criminals. There are currently 53 individuals wanted by Interpol residing in Canada, and this is just a fraction of the total. Many individuals, such as Gurpatwant Singh Panun, who have made violent threats, remain untouched by the law. Canada’s large Sikh population, constituting approximately 2% of the total population, played a role in providing refuge to those fleeing the aftermath of Indira Gandhi’s assassination in the 1980s. However, these freedoms have been abused over the years, leading to incidents such as the Air India bombing, which claimed 329 lives. While Canada prides itself on its freedoms, it must also recognize the need for reasonable limits, as outlined in the Constitution’s preamble and the Criminal Code.

Inadequate Action and Harassment:
Despite clear violations of the law, Canadian authorities have failed to take immediate action in cases involving public incitement of hatred and threats against individuals. The lack of response against Gurpatwant Singh Panun, who called for Hindus to leave Canada, and the numerous threats against TV reporter Pardeep Bains highlight the shortcomings in addressing these issues. Students from Punjab have also reported harassment or offers of assistance from Khalistanis if they support their cause. These incidents, including threats originating from Pakistan and Malaysia, are now being brought to public attention. Canada must recognize the severity of the problem, as it could have consequences.

Interpol Obligations and Anti-Terrorism Measures:
Despite not having an extradition treaty with India, Canada should have conducted a proper investigation under Interpol obligations. A red corner notice had been issued against Nijjar, who was wanted by India, and Canada should have taken appropriate action. Additionally, Canada possesses a robust anti-terrorism law that could be utilized to detain Khalistanis who have made threats against Indian High Commission officers and even planned attacks on Indira Gandhi International Airport. Canada’s designation of the Babbar Khalsa as a terrorist entity further makes it easier to pursue individuals like Nijjar, who was associated with its offshoot, the Khalistan Tiger Force. Cooperation in apprehending terrorists and addressing other criminal activities would benefit both India and Canada.

Calls for International Cooperation:
The coordinated Khalistan activities in several “five eyes” countries, including the UK, the US, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, have raised concerns about potential foreign interference. The involvement of pro-Khalistan groups with ties to terrorist agendas in Kashmir and Palestine, such as Jamaat e Islami and Friends of Kashmir, points to a complex web of connections. While some skeptics may link these activities to the US and its allies aiming to undermine PM Modi’s government, the timing contradicts this theory. The growing cooperation between India and the US, indications of bipartisan support for India in Congress, ongoing military exercises, and the shared goal of countering China in the Indo-Pacific region suggest a different picture. Pakistan’s envy of India’s progress is evident, and China’s interest lies in maintaining stability for its Indo-Pacific ambitions. Thorough investigation is necessary to reveal the true culprits behind the coordinated Khalistan activities.

The Need for Cooperation:
To combat the complex Khalistan issue, Canada, and other concerned countries must cooperate on various fronts. An excellent starting point would be addressing narcotics trafficking, as mandated by numerous UN resolutions, to reduce the funding of extremist groups. The Indian government’s efforts to crack down on drug trafficking and its links to terrorism provide a basis for collaboration. Additionally, tackling organized crime and closing loopholes should be a priority. Collaboration could assist in apprehending criminals and preventing criminal activities. Strengthening forensic capabilities to provide irrefutable evidence is also necessary.

Understanding the realities and complexities surrounding the Khalistan issue is crucial in moving forward. Canada and other countries must acknowledge the challenges they face and work together to address them. Cooperation on issues such as narcotics trafficking and organized crime can significantly benefit both India and Canada. By closing loopholes and sharing information, the countries can mitigate threats and prevent foreign interference. It is in everyone’s best interest to unravel the intricate problem and safeguard bilateral relations while countering extremism and criminal activities.

(Note: This article was authored by Tara Kartha, Distinguished Fellow, IPCS)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here