Next year's general elections in India will determine the unity within the INDIA block
As the ongoing diplomatic row between India and Canada over the killing of Canadian Sikh extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar deepens, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said that the White House is in touch with government of both India and Canada, and “actions like this” will not get any special exemption.
During a press conference in the White House on Thursday, the advisor to US President Joe Biden was asked if the diplomatic row between Ottawa and New Delhi would disrupt their plans to strengthen relationship with India.
“It is a matter of concern for us. It is something we take seriously. It is something we will keep working on, and we will do that regardless of the country,” Sullivan told reporters in response to the query.
“There’s not some special exemption you get for actions like this. Regardless of the country, we will stand up and defend our basic principles and we will also consult closely with allies like Canada as they pursue their law enforcement and diplomatic process.”
He said that the US government is in constant touch with the governments of Canada and India over the issue.
“We are in constant contact with our Canadian counterparts … and we have also been in touch with the Indian government,” Sullivan said according to Reuters.
When asked if the issue has created a wedge between the US and Canada – two NATO allies, Sullivan rejected the idea and expressed deep concerns about the allegations made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau against New Delhi.
“I firmly reject the idea that there is a wedge between the US and Canada. We have deep concerns about the allegations and we would like to see this investigation carried forward and the perpetrators held to account,” he said.
Earlier this week, Trudeau told the Canadian Parliament that Ottawa was investigating “credible allegations” of India’s role in the killing of Nijjar. Later, his government expelled an Indian diplomat and even identified him, a move not in line with normal diplomatic precedents.
India vehemently rejected Trudeau’s claims terming them “absurd and politically driven”. The Indian government also expelled a Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move.
New Delhi also accused Ottawa of not taking any action against Khalistani extremists who incite violence against Indian diplomats and citizens. India also alleged that Canada has become a “safe haven” for Khalistani extremists involved in anti-India activities.