In a significant development in the ongoing India-Canada row surrounding the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the United States has officially confirmed the existence of shared intelligence among the Five Eyes partners. This revelation lends credence to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s public allegations of a potential link between the Indian government and Nijjar’s murder in June this year.
United States Ambassador to Canada, David Cohen, made this revelation during an exclusive interview with CTV News, a prominent Canadian news network. Cohen stated unequivocally that “there was shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners that helped lead Canada to making the statements that the PM [Trudeau] made.”
However, Cohen refrained from delving into specific details about the nature of the intelligence that informed the Canadian government’s investigation. He did not clarify whether the intelligence encompassed both human and surveillance-based aspects or if it included signals intelligence related to Indian diplomats. “This was a matter of shared intelligence information,” he asserted, adding, “There was a lot of communication between Canada and the US about this, and I think that’s as far as I’m comfortable going.”
Prime Minister Trudeau had previously disclosed that Canadian officials had been working closely with intelligence agencies since the summer to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the situation. The seriousness of the allegations was underscored by the members of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, which includes the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
While these nations acknowledged the gravity of the accusations, reports suggest that they rebuffed Canada’s request for a joint denouncement of the murder. The United States expressed deep concern over Trudeau’s claim regarding India’s involvement and emphasized the necessity of bringing the perpetrators of the murder to justice. The United Kingdom, too, characterized the allegations as profoundly serious.
Australia’s foreign ministry took a more assertive stance by revealing that it had conveyed its concerns regarding the developments to India at “senior levels.” This signifies the growing international ramifications of the India-Canada row.
Within the Canadian Parliament, Prime Minister Trudeau articulated his firm stance, asserting that any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil represents an unacceptable violation of Canada’s sovereignty. He further described the alleged killing as a direct contravention of the fundamental principles by which free, open, and democratic societies conduct themselves.
Ambassador Cohen reiterated the gravity of the situation, stating, “If the allegations prove to be true, it is a potentially very serious breach of the rules-based international order in which we like to function.”
As this complex diplomatic standoff continues to unfold, the world watches closely, aware of the broader implications it carries for international relations and the global order.