India Cooperating with Canada to Improve Bilateral Ties After Murder of Sikh Separatist Leader

OTTAWA, Canada – Bilateral ties between India and Canada are showing signs of improvement after tensions arose from the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in British Columbia. Canadian officials are optimistic about the progress in the cooperation between the two nations.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had previously raised concerns about potential links between Indian agents and the murder of Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June 2023. However, India has denied any government involvement in the incident, leading to diplomatic strains.

Jody Thomas, Trudeau’s national security adviser, stated that Canada has been making advancements in its relationship with India, indicating a positive shift in their cooperation. The Canadian government has been pushing for India’s cooperation in the investigation into Nijjar’s killing, further highlighting the importance of resolving the issue.

The developments in the relationship between the two countries also have broader implications, with discussions on a free-trade deal being delayed and Canada’s plans to expand its influence in the Indo-Pacific region being threatened. The cooperation of New Delhi is crucial to Canada’s efforts to counter the growing influence of China in the region.

The presence of a significant number of Canadians with Indian heritage further emphasizes the importance of a healthy relationship between the two nations. With around two million Canadians having Indian roots, the ties between Canada and India have social and cultural significance beyond political and economic considerations.

The recent withdrawal of 41 diplomats from India by Canada, in response to New Delhi’s request to reduce its diplomatic presence following Trudeau’s remarks, underscores the complexities and challenges in the diplomatic relationship between the two nations. As both countries navigate through these diplomatic challenges, the progress in their cooperation and the resolution of the issues at hand will be closely watched.