Canada’s Bid for Condemnation of India Met with Reluctance: Diplomatic Challenges Unveiled

Canada’s attempt to seek public condemnation from its allies, including the United States, over the killing of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, allegedly implicating Indian officials, was met with reluctance, according to The Washington Post. The alleged assassination of Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, raised diplomatic challenges for the Biden administration and its allies as they navigated their relations with India. This report sheds light on the complexities of managing international relations with a crucial regional player like India.

Canada’s Diplomatic Efforts

Canadian officials initiated discussions among senior officials from the Five Eyes countries regarding the alleged assassination of Nijjar in the weeks leading up to the September Group of 20 (G20) summit in New Delhi. However, there was no public mention of the issue before the summit, as it was considered an important event for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement of “credible allegations” in Parliament regarding the involvement of Indian agents in Nijjar’s killing caused a significant rupture in bilateral relations with India. This led to the expulsion of an Indian diplomat in Ottawa.

India’s Response

India strongly rejected Canada’s allegations of Indian agents being involved in Nijjar’s killing, labeling them as “absurd and motivated.” New Delhi shifted the focus to Khalistani terrorists and extremists sheltered in Canada. In retaliation to Canada’s expulsion of an Indian diplomat, India ordered a Canadian envoy, believed to be spying for Canada in India, to leave within five days.

Dilemma for Western Governments

This diplomatic controversy emerged as Western nations sought to strengthen geopolitical and trade partnerships with India while refraining from criticizing Prime Minister Modi’s policies. Western governments faced a dilemma: how to acknowledge Canada as an ally while valuing their strategic partnership with India.

G20 Summit Tensions

The G20 summit in India in September was marked by tension, with Trudeau sidelined and denied formal bilateral talks with Prime Minister Modi. The Khalistan issue was discussed on the summit’s sidelines, further straining relations.

Global Implications

The allegations surrounding Nijjar’s assassination intensified the long-standing issue of Khalistan supporters in Canada, potentially impacting global geopolitics and foreign interference. The situation highlights the delicate balance Western nations must maintain between their allies and their strategic partnerships in an evolving global landscape.

International Response

Canada’s Foreign Minister Melanie Joly informed that Trudeau had raised the allegations with President Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The issue was expected to be discussed at the UN General Assembly. Washington expressed deep concern and emphasized the importance of Canada’s investigation and bringing the perpetrators to justice. Australia also raised the issue with India at senior levels.


The diplomatic challenges faced by Canada and its allies in seeking condemnation over Nijjar’s killing reveal the complexities of managing relations with a country as significant as India. The situation underscores the need for careful diplomacy in a rapidly evolving global context.

What were the allegations made by Canada regarding India’s involvement in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar?

Canada alleged “credible allegations” of a potential link between agents of the Government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

How did India respond to Canada’s allegations?

India rejected Canada’s allegations as “absurd and motivated” and shifted the focus to Khalistani terrorists and extremists sheltered in Canada.

What were the consequences of Canada’s allegations on bilateral relations with India?

Canada’s allegations resulted in a significant rupture in bilateral relations with India, leading to the expulsion of an Indian diplomat in Ottawa.

What is the Khalistan issue, and why is it relevant in this context?

The Khalistan issue pertains to the demand for an independent Sikh state (Khalistan) in the Indian state of Punjab. It is relevant in this context as India has been pressuring countries like Canada, Australia, Britain, and the United States, which have significant Sikh communities, to crack down on the Khalistan movement.

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