The US State Department disclosed on Wednesday that the recent diplomatic tension between India and Canada concerning the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar did not surface during the meeting between Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week.
The meeting between Jaishankar and Blinken took place in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session, with the participation of Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa in the Quad meeting.
State Department spokesperson Mathew Miller clarified that the meeting was not a bilateral one and that the issue did not arise. Instead, he stated, “We have engaged with our Indian counterparts on this issue and urged them to fully cooperate with the Canadian investigation.”
He further reiterated, “As we have made clear, we have raised this. We have engaged with our Indian counterpart on this and encouraged them to cooperate with the Canadian investigation, and we continue to encourage them to cooperate.”
The diplomatic dispute escalated after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made allegations suggesting Indian government involvement in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India has vehemently denied these claims, dismissing them as “absurd” and “motivated.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed the US’s deep concern regarding Prime Minister Trudeau’s allegations and emphasized that Washington has been closely consulting and coordinating with its Canadian counterparts on the matter. He stressed the importance of the Canadian investigation proceeding and called for India’s cooperation in the investigation process to ensure accountability.
Blinken stated, “And from our perspective, it is critical that the Canadian investigation proceed. And it would be important that India work with the Canadians on this investigation. We want to see accountability, and it’s important that the investigation run its course and lead to that result.”
It is noteworthy that Canada has not provided any public evidence to substantiate its claims concerning the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
In response to the escalating tensions, India suspended its visa services in Canada. Additionally, India issued an advisory for its citizens traveling to or residing in Canada, urging them to exercise “utmost caution” due to the growing anti-India activities, politically-condoned hate crimes, and criminal violence in the country.
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