India and Canada are currently involved in a major diplomatic row over the killing of 'Khalistan' supporter Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June.
Ahead of the bilateral meeting between External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller Thursday said that Washington has already made its stand on Canada issue clear to New Delhi.
Addressing a press briefing at White House, Millar refused to comment on the specific issues that will be taken up during the meeting between Jaishankar and Blinken, which is scheduled for later today.
“I don’t want to preview the conversations he (Blinken) will have in that meeting, but as we have made clear, we have raised this; we have engaged with our Indian counterparts on this and encouraged them to cooperate with the Canadian investigation, and we continue to encourage them to cooperate,” Mr Miller said.
The meeting comes in the backdrop of a serious diplomatic row between India and Canada after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations of New Delhi’s role in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June this year.
Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, was shot by two masked gunmen in the parking lot of a Gurudwara in Surrey, British Columbia on June 18. Last week, Trudeau told the Canadian Parliament that agencies were investigating “credible allegations” of India’s role in the killing of Nijjar.
India termed his Trudeau’s claims “absurd and politically driven” and asked Ottawa to provide specific evidence to back his claims. The allegations resulted in a massive diplomatic row, with both countries announcing a slew of measures against each other. India expelled a Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat action and suspended visa services for Canadian citizens.
Earlier on Wednesday, Jaishankar said that it was not Government of India’s policy to carry out extra judicial killings in another country and demanded specific information, if any, to back Trudeau’s claims.
The US has, so far, taken a neutral stand and refrained from putting any blame on India. Blinken, however, said that US was deeply concerned about the Canada’s allegations and that Washington would like to see accountability for the incident.