India demands extradition of the suspect
Recently, according to media reports, Nijjar, who leads the community in Surrey as president and has had a Canadian passport for many years, called a referendum, the results of which had no binding effect. All Sikhs in British Columbia, Canada, should be able to choose whether they want their own state within Indian territory or not. What is technically a constitutional act for the Canadian government is a thorn in India’s side.
Relations with Ottawa have long been damaged due to the Khalistan movement. New Delhi accuses Canada of providing protection to separatist groups and not doing enough to protect Indian embassies and consulates from separatist attacks – but there have been no major incidents of this kind, at least that are publicly known. In recent days, India initially postponed granting visas to Canadians and justified this due to security reasons.
An Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Thursday demanded: “We want the Canadian government to stop harboring terrorists and take action against those accused of terrorism and send them here for trial.” At least 20 extradition requests to Canada remain unanswered in the past.
Nothing to be afraid of? India’s geopolitical importance is increasing
The Nijjar case caused relations between the two democracies to reach their lowest point. Both countries expelled each other’s diplomats. Canada saw a violation of its sovereignty when Indian intelligence agents allegedly operated on its territory. It is unlikely that Canada would have leveled its accusations without clear reference to Indian intelligence.
Typically, cases like this generate anger among the affected allied countries. Not so with Nijjar: Washington also appears reluctant to join in the allegations and put pressure on the Indian government. Concerns are expressed simply and warnings are given to deal with them.
According to observers, India benefits from its increasingly important geopolitical role here: especially in the Indo-Pacific, India, with a population of around 1.4 billion, plays an important role as a counterweight to China in the strategy of the United States and its Western partners. . US President Joe Biden recently wooed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a lavish state visit to Washington. India, it seems, currently has good goodwill among its partners – this could also be encouraging to Modi when it comes to human rights abuses, for example.
On Friday, the focus in Ottawa was actually on another conflict: the one in Ukraine. But even during President Volodymyr Zelensky’s sensational visit, Trudeau remained unmoved by Niyjar’s murder. What does Trudeau think about India’s accusation that Canada did not share details with New Delhi? The prime minister responded that efforts had been made to talk to the Indian people for weeks: “We hope they will work with us so that we can resolve this very serious problem.”
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