Economic Insider

Heads Might Roll, If Proved Guilty

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The June 18 killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar on foreign soil has been an extrajudicial killing and the way Justin Trudeau dealt with the situation shows how seriously they have taken this matter. The death of this prominent Sikh leader outraged the supporters creating an intensifying global tension between the independent advocates of the Sikh and the Indian government. 

After months of investigation and the protest of hundreds of Sikh activists on the streets of Toronto and cities like London and San Francisco, most recently, last month, in September, Canadian Prime Minister accused India to be involved in the killing of Mr. Najjar. The intelligence claims to have credible links between the death of Mr. Nijjar and the Indian state.

India on the other hand, has emphatically denied any connection to the fatal shooting near a Sikh temple in Surrey, dismissing Trudeau’s remarks in the Canadian Parliament as “absurd” and driven by political motivations. 

This recent incident created tensions between both the states; Canada and India, affecting their long-term diplomatic and trade relations since Canada declared a temporary halt to negotiations regarding a significant free-trade agreement with India. During a G20 meeting involving both nations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused Canada of not taking sufficient measures to suppress “anti-India” sentiments within its borders.

The killing of Mr. Nijjar is not just the violation of international law, but the violation of international human rights law. However, US and UK continued to keep their bilateral and trade relationship with India which is completely regarded as a shameful act. Another example of the moral noises includes that of the killing of Jamal Khashoggi which was interest-driven while the interests of the Wests have been prejudiced towards external events. If the similar incident of killing had taken place in China, Russia or the Muslim country, the reaction of the West without any speculation would have been the worst. 

Why does the West seem to ignore India’s alleged wrongdoing, unlike the pressure applied to Saudi Arabia? Is there still a disparity in how Western societies treat people of color, even if they hold Western nationality? Do international laws not apply uniformly, and is the U.S. excessively dependent on India for it to act with impunity?

Indian foreign policy experts label their multilateralism as a facade, concealing their true intentions. India’s approach resembles their stance on Russia, where they avoid escalating conflicts with more powerful adversaries. The U.S. appears to overlook these realities. There’s a fear that without American support, India might gravitate toward the Russia-China Bloc, which undermines U.S. credibility as a fair partner. The U.S. also worries that India’s shifting alliances could create unnecessary distractions.

While Canada claims to be having evidence of India’s involvement in the assassination of Hardeep Singh, they haven’t been able to provide any of these claimed proofs. Once these claims will be proven, Canada will be able to reveal the darkest side of India. We should expect Indian Intelligence Bureaucracy to lose their petition or face any disciplinary actions for being involved in this assassination.

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