The presidency of G-20 came to Bharat in December 2022 for one year. It witnessed more than 200 meetings of the member delegations in more than 60 cities across Bharat. The 18th G-20 Summit held in New Delhi on September 9-10, witnessed attendance by the leaders of all major powers of the world and was a resounding success. The presidency branded Bharat as a vibrant democracy that believes in values of inclusiveness as projected by the motto “One Earth One Family One Future.”
A high point of the meeting was the universal acceptance of the “New Delhi Declaration.” Despite sharp divisions over the wording with regard to the Russia-Ukraine war, Bharat managed to forge a consensus due to her cordial ties with Russia and the West.
Other high points were the inclusion of the African Union as the 21st permanent member of the group; the signing of a MoU to establish an India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEE-EC) and the creation of a Global Bio-fuel alliance that has a confirmed participation of nineteen countries and twelve international organisations.
The only painful point at the summit was the sulking Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau. It seems that PM Trudeau came for the meeting with an agenda of “talking tough” against Russia and what he perceives to be interference in Canadian affairs by various foreign powers including India. The world leaders had different priorities for which reason Trudeau felt secluded, ignored and marginalised. He also had limited visibility in the media.
Bharat extended to him all courtesies due to a head of state, yet, the body language of the premier all through the meeting indicated that he was ill at ease. He did not attend the dinner hosted by the President of Bharat, Smt. Draupadi Murmu, in honour of the world leaders. It is said that he was also absent from the landmark events of the summit like the inclusion of the African Union and the signing of the Bio-fuel alliance.
No bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was scheduled during the summit. They, however, met on the sidelines, at the request of the Canadian premier. During the meeting, Prime Minister Modi expressed to the Canadian Premier his concern about certain “extremist groups engaging in anti-India activities in Canada.” This was in reference to the free run being given to Khalistani organisations in Canada by the government of the country.
After the summit and the meeting, in a press conference, PM Trudeau said, “One of the things we are focused on in this inquiry is recognising, yes, China and Russia are responsible for interference, but other countries engage in it as well.” The other country’s remark was directed at Bharat.
Giving shelter to terrorist
On his arrival in Canada, PM Trudeau addressed the House of Commons of his country and said, “security agencies (Canadian) are actively pursuing credible allegations of potential link between Indian government agents and murder of Nijjar.” The Canadian government followed up this statement with the expulsion of an Indian diplomat posted in the country.
Both statements were propelled by PM Trudeau’s perception that Bharat is behind the killing of the Khalistani Harjit Singh Nijjar in Canada. Nijjar was shot dead by unknown assailants on 18 June 2023. It is now more than three months since his murder and the Canadian security agencies have yet to identify the killers. Also, Nijjar is a designated terrorist in India where he is wanted in several cases of murder and arson. He entered Canada in 1997 on a fake passport in the name of Ravi Sharma and was denied Canadian citizenship for several years despite marrying a Canadian girl. Then suddenly, under the Trudeau regime, he is said to have been granted citizenship which is also not confirmed.
Legally speaking, Trudeau has made a blunder. He has raised an issue where his government is complicit in a delayed investigation and no results. He has taken over the posture of the Judge and Jury since the case has not been processed by the law of the country. The weakness of his case is so evident in his statement which speaks of “credible allegations” and “potential link.” Both are ambiguous terms not supported by any fact or evidence. Making a statement of this nature in the parliament of a democratic country and then following it up with the expulsion of a diplomat is unprecedented behaviour by a prime minister.
The duplicity of the posture becomes more evident when one reflects on the case of Karima Baloch. Karima was a human rights activist, who advocated Balochistan’s independence from Pakistan. She disappeared on October 22, 2022, and her body was found two days later in a Lake in Ontario. The Government of Canada has not made any allegation about the involvement of the Pakistani deep state for which there is every reason for belief. Nor has Trudeau included Pakistan in his list of countries that “interfere in Canada.” Possibly the close links of the Pakistani deep state with the nefarious activities of the Khalistani element in Canada is a reason for the silence.
Boost to Khalistani Activities
PM Trudeau’s posture has given a boost to Khalistani activities worldwide. The Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwnat Singh Pannu has given a call for the ouster of all Hindus from Canada. PM Trudeau has given no response to this preposterous statement by Pannu, which has caused a feeling of insecurity among the Hindu-Canadian community. It is hoped that he will be able to protect all Canadian citizens should there be a spread of violence due to the situation of a literal takeover by radicals that is evolving over there.
Spoiling relations with a strong country like Bharat for the sake of a person with dubious credentials is unfathomable. The only reason that can be ascribed to this action is his weak political standing. Justin Trudeau is consistently getting high disapproval ratings from Canadian citizens and is heading a minority government with the support of 24 members of the New Democratic Party (NDM) headed by Jagmeet Singh who is a known Khalistani Hawk.
Spoiling relations with a strong country like Bharat for the sake of a person with dubious credentials is unfathomable
Bharat has exhibited exemplary maturity by responding and not reacting to the blunder committed by PM Trudeau. While a tit-for-tat expulsion of a Canadian diplomat is a matter of diplomatic policy followed by most nations, the Government of India has chosen to completely reject the allegation, “such unsubstantiated allegations seek to shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The inaction of the Canadian Government on this matter has been a long-standing and continuing concern,” said a foreign ministry statement.
Impact on relationship
Bharat and Canada have a very long-standing bond; the latter country has a strong Indian diaspora that is making a very valuable contribution to its society and economy. Canada is a preferred study destination for Indian youth, their fees give a big boost to the Canadian economy. This apart, the two countries have strong trade and business protocols. A breakdown of relations will have serious social, economic and political consequences for both the countries with Canada being a bigger loser. It would be best for the Canadian PM to exhibit a spirit of statesmanship and lower his belligerent posture, lest the cascading effect propels the situation out of control. There is no sentiment in favour of Khalistan in Indian Punjab with only an irrelevant minuscule of the population in the state supporting the idea and that too for financial reasons. In concert with democratic norms, successive governments in Bharat have allowed this small segment to propagate its idea, as has the incumbent BJP-led government. Yet, it has faced complete rejection by almost all the Punjab people. The movement has its roots only in foreign shores. It is financed by such forces that are inimical to Bharat and wish to create dissension and disruption within the country and also sully its name in international circles by spreading canards of so-called political dissent and strangulation of human rights. Punjab, however, has given a strong response against all such conspiracies.
No sympathy for Khalistan in Bharat
It is a wonder that the Canadian government remains unaware of the sentiment in Bharat and continues to support the evil machinations of such forces that are bent upon creating global instability and terrorism.
Khalistan can never become a political reality in Punjab or Bharat. The Khalistanis cannot create any upheaval in Punjab since the people are proud of Bharat, who offer no space for such nonsense in their homeland. By supporting radical elements, PM Trudeau is creating a Frankenstein monster in his own country. Bharat is simply trying to help him by pointing out the cardinal mistake that he is making and must continue to do so. The win-win situation would come if PM Trudeau wards off his demons and both countries work towards ensuring that good relations remain sacrosanct. If his political compulsions are getting the better of PM Trudeau’s spirit of nationalism, then only the people of the country can stop him from pursuing the destructive path that he has chosen to tread.