In a notable development, India’s External Affairs Minister (EAM), S Jaishankar, has countered Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s accusation of India’s involvement in the assassination of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Jaishankar, in a conversation with journalist Lionel Barber, emphasized the need for credible evidence to support such serious allegations.

When asked about proof of India’s involvement, Jaishankar categorically stated, “None.” He revealed ongoing discussions with his Canadian counterpart, Melanie Joly, urging the Canadian government to provide any evidence they may possess. While expressing India’s willingness to consider an investigation, he emphasized that no evidence has been presented thus far.

Jaishankar also addressed the broader issue of violent political views advocating separatism from India, which have gained traction in Canadian politics. He expressed concern over the accommodation of such views, leading to attacks on Indian diplomats and intimidation of consul generals and other diplomats, including the barring of Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Vikram Doraiswami, from entering a gurdwara in Glasgow in October.

Highlighting the importance of responsible exercise of freedom of speech and expression in Canada, Jaishankar stated, “But freedom of speech and freedom of expression also comes with a certain responsibility. And the misuse of those freedoms and the toleration of that misuse for political purposes would be, to our mind, very wrong.”

Trudeau had reiterated his accusation earlier this month, alleging Indian involvement in Nijjar’s killing on Canadian soil. He claimed a violation of the Vienna Convention, while India’s Ministry of External Affairs responded, stating that no international norms were violated in India, and sought parity in mutual diplomatic presence in New Delhi and Ottawa.

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