When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made explosive revelations earlier this week about “credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the government of India” and the murder of Sikh leader and activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar and expelled a senior Indian diplomat, it was expected that India would react. But the way that India has reacted is far worse than what was expected. First, India expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move, then it suspended new visas for Canadians and asked Canada to reduce its diplomatic presence in India. These moves are being seen as those of a state caught red-handed. According to media reports, Canada has reportedly both human and signals intelligence about Nijjar’s murder, which includes communications involving Indian officials themselves, including Indian diplomats present in Canada. Reports say that Canada’s serious allegations against the Indian state are backed by information gathered from surveillance of Indian diplomats in Canada while some of the intelligence was provided by an unnamed member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance. Many believe that Canada would not have taken such a public position if it didn’t have solid evidence to back its claims. Now even the Western press is pointing out that there must be consequences for India, a big development since the West has turned a blind eye to the Indian government’s abuses for far too long. Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson on Wednesday had noted that the news of Indian involvement in the killing in Canada reflects that New Delhi’s “network of extra-territorial killings" had now gone "global”.
The Indian reaction, both the government’s and even by some so-called ‘liberal’ or ‘anti-Modi’ voices has been denial. What is also starkly different is how some apparently progressive voices of India have attacked Canada and Trudeau without much introspection. For years, Kashmiris had pointed to how Indian liberals have bought into the Indian state’s oppressive narrative, choosing to either remain quiet or justify their state’s actions by making false allegations against Pakistan. It is quite a pity that instead of introspecting over how India treats its own minorities in the worst possible manner, how Modi spearheaded Muslim genocide when he was the chief minister of Gujarat, how the Indian state has made a false flag case against the Khalistan Movement only to target the Sikh minority because it cannot do so on a religious basis like it does with the Muslims, these voices are blaming Canada for going public with this case. India’s impunity has been ignored for far too long – much like Israel’s. Dare we hope times may be changing?