India-Canada diplomatic row

Canada has expelled a top Indian diplomat after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau informed lawmakers that the ongoing investigations into the killing of a Sikh leader revealed credible allegations that Indian government agents have links to the assassination of a Canadian citizen. According to the Canadian Prime Minister, India’s involvement in the assassination of a Canadian citizen was unacceptable and he took up the case with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the recent G-20 summit in New Delhi. The Indian foreign ministry dismissed the allegation of the Canadian government and termed it absurd and motivated. According to India’s MEA, 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.

A brawl was in the making between New Delhi and Ottawa over the past several years, because the Canadian Sikh community was vigorously supporting the peaceful and democratic Khalistan Freedom Movement, which is working to create a separate and independent Sikh state in Indian-held Punjab. The Khalistan Freedom movement took momentum in the late 70s after a pause of two decades and was brutally crushed by the Indian government by launching a large-scale operation against Sikh Freedom fighters which ended up through Operation Blue Star in the holy Sikh Shrine of Golden Temple in 1984.

However, Indian rulers failed to curb Sikh’s quest for freedom and the Khalistan movement, which was previously a local insurgency in Indian-held Punjab spread out in all corners of the world from North America, and Europe to Australia and New Zealand. As of now, over a dozen Sikh organizations are actively working worldwide for the Khalistan cause through peaceful and democratic means. The Sikh nation remained successful in highlighting the Khalistan issue at the global level, while the Khalistan Referendum-2020 was a landmark event through which the Sikh nation held ballet and exercised their right to vote in support of their demand for a free and independent homeland for over 28 million Sikhs, a majority of whom reside in Indian held Punjab.

Historically, New Delhi remained at loggerheads with multiple Western nations including Canada, the United States, the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Australia on the issue of the Khalistan movement which was flourishing unrestricted in those nations and causing a great embarrassment for India at the global level. The Indian government and its Security Forces suppressed Sikh freedom seekers and squeezed space for the Sikh community in the country, while Indian diplomatic missions abroad and the notorious Research and Analysis Wing (RAW ) continuously haunt Sikh rights activists across the world. Reports suggest that the RAW Station Chief in Canada managed the assassination bid of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was gunned down on June 18 outside a Sikh cultural centre in British Columbia.

Currently, the bilateral relations between Canada and India are at a record low for the first time in history. Besides the expulsion of a senior diplomat, Ottawa cancelled a planned trade mission to India that trashed the possibility of the long-talked Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between their nations. The Canadian government has termed the killing of its citizens a grave violation of Canada’s sovereignty, while Prime Minister Treudu has raised this issue with other Western nations which in turn backed Ottawa’s viewpoint and censured Modi’s regime over such grave misconduct at the global level.

Over the decades, Indian rulers tactfully concealed the domestic issues from the rest of the world and world nations were not aware of the grave human rights abuses of Indian minorities, maltreatment of low-caste Hindus, ongoing separatist movements in 15 Indian states, decades-long open prison in Indian held Jammu and Kashmir and a simmering Khalistan movement in East Punjab. The draconian face of India was previously covered behind New Delhi’s fake democracy and secularism, which has now been exposed to the world. It is high time that the ongoing UNGA session deliberate on the long-held UNSC resolutions regarding Kashmir, along with grave human and minority rights issues in BJP-ruled India, that would not only validate UN prestige but will preserve fun dam rights of millions of people in Hindustan.