What is ‘Five Eyes Intelligence’ that is backing probe in Nijjar’s death

What is ‘Five Eyes Intelligence’ that is backing probe in Nijjar’s death

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  • September 20, 2023
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Canada and India’s relation have hit rock bottom after Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s bombshell statement on Tuesday accusing the Indian government agency of killing Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June this year. Trudeau’s remarks have found traction with the Five Eyes Intelligence alliance, although they reportedly rejected Canada’s request to jointly denounce the murder of Nijjar.

Also read: Nijjar killing row: ‘Come with clean facts’, Canadian Oppn leader Poilievre’s big advice to PM Trudeau

What is the Five Eyes alliance?

It is an alliance comprising Canada, the US, the UK Australia, and New Zealand. These partner countries share a broad range of intelligence with one another in a unified multilateral arrangement.

Also read: Billions at stake: India-Canada economic ties have been flourishing; then, Justin Trudeau accused New Delhi of murder

What did the Five Eyes say about Trudeau’s remark against India?

A senior State Department official in the US said that they have been in close contact with their Canadian counterparts about allegations the Indian government was involved in the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in Canada and have urged India to cooperate with the investigation.

Whereas a US expert has termed the Canadian Prime Minister’s claim of a “potential link” between Indian government agents and the killing of a Khalistani leader a “shameless and cynical action” and urged the United States not to be part of it

The UK government said on Tuesday that the “serious allegations” over the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in Canada will not impact its ongoing trade negotiations with India.

Also read: India-Canada News: ‘We don’t aspire for a separate Khalistan’, says Sikh leader amid Nijjar killing row

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong on Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s killing in Canada stated, “These are concerning reports, and I note that investigations are still underway. We are monitoring these developments with our partners and will continue to do so”.

Trudeau on Monday urged India “in the strongest possible terms” to cooperate with Canada to get to the bottom of this matter.

Canada and India have expelled a senior diplomat each after Trudeau alleged the involvement of “agents of the Indian government” in the killing of a prominent Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, 45, in Surrey in June.

Also read: Hardeep Singh Nijjar killing: ‘Diplomat expulsion was a signal’, Canadian Sikhs urge Ottawa to get tough with India

Nijjar, the chief of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) and one of India’s most-wanted terrorists who carried a cash reward of 10 lakh on his head, was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen outside a gurdwara in Surrey in the western Canadian province of British Columbia on June 18.

Canada is home to nearly 1.4 million people of Indian ethnic or cultural origin, about 3.7% of the country’s total population, according to the 2021 census.

More than 770,000 people reported their religion as Sikhism, about 2% of Canada’s population, and in 2019, the government designated April as Sikh Heritage Month.

Also read: India-Canada diplomatic strain raises visa worries

With more than $13.7 billion in trade, India was Canada’s 10th largest two-way merchandise trade partner in 2022 However Trudeau had frosty encounters with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Group of 20 meeting in New Delhi. Trade talks have been paused and a planned trade mission to India has been cancelled.

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Updated: 20 Sep 2023, 09:21 AM IST

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