India’s Cooperation in Investigation of Designated Terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar Highlighted by Canada’s National Security Advisor
Canada’s outgoing National Security Advisor, Jody Thomas, has praised India’s cooperation in the investigation into the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, an individual designated as a terrorist by India. Speaking to CTV News, Thomas described the evolving relationship between the two nations as significant.
Thomas expressed optimism about the progress made in bilateral discussions, noting fruitful exchanges with her Indian counterpart. She stated that her discussions with Indian officials have been productive and have moved things forward. These positive developments in Canada-India relations are expected to be discussed in an upcoming interview with Vassy Kapelos on CTV’s Question Period.
The collaboration between Canada and India in the investigation stems from a series of events that began in September of the previous year. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had raised concerns about the potential involvement of the Indian government in Nijjar’s killing in Surrey, citing “credible allegations.” India promptly refuted these accusations, leading to strained relations between the two countries.
However, Trudeau later revealed that he made the allegations public in anticipation of their eventual leak. In December, the US Justice Department unveiled an indictment against an Indian national involved in a thwarted plot to assassinate Pannun. The indictment pointed to an Indian government employee, identified as CC-1, who allegedly recruited Nikhil Gupta to hire a hitman for the assassination. Gupta now faces charges of murder-for-hire, with a maximum sentence of 10 years. India expressed its willingness to cooperate with the US in the investigation.
When asked about Canada’s improved ties with India, Thomas acknowledged the connection to the US indictment. She highlighted the supporting information provided by the US, which helped Canada’s dialogue with India in resolving the issue. Trudeau also suggested a potential “tonal shift” in India’s relations with Canada following the unsealing of the US indictment in December.
The evolving dynamics between Canada and India, driven by the investigation into Nijjar’s killing and the US indictment, indicate a positive turn in their relationship. This development reflects the growing cooperation between the two countries in addressing terrorism-related issues.