New York [US], September 21 (ANI): Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday said that India is a country of growing importance, adding that Canada is not looking to provoke or cause problems and called upon the government of India to work with Ottawa to establish processes to uncover the truth in the murder of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
He also stressed that Canada is unequivocal about the importance of the rule of law and protecting Canadians as well as standing up for values.
"There is no question, India is a country of growing importance and a country that we need to continue to work with not just in a region but around the world and we are not looking to provoke or cause problems but we are unequivocal about the importance of the rule of law and unequivocal about of the importance of protecting Canadians and standing up for values," Trudeau said while addressing a press conference at Canada's Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.
"That's why, we call upon the government of India to work with us to establish processes to uncover the truth of the matter and to allow justice and accountability to be served," Trudeau added.
Trudeau's recent statement comes as the diplomatic standoff between India and Canada escalated to a level that the envoys of both countries have been expelled in a tit-for-tat move.
Indian External Affairs Ministry in its response to the allegations by Canada had said, "Yes these allegations were raised by Canadian PM Justin Trudeau with PM (Modi) and PM rejected them."The MEA said that allegations were raised by Trudeau when he was in India to attend the G20 Summit and that PM Modi had rejected them.
MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that Canada has not shared any specific information regarding the allegations and that India is asking Canada to take action against those facing charges related to terrorism."We are willing to look at any specific information that is provided to us, but so far we have received no specific information from Canada," Bagchi said on Thursday answering queries.
"We are willing to look at any specific information that is provided to us, but so far we have received no specific information from Canada," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday answering queries.
Moreover, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also took questions about Canada's tensions with India during a press conference.
On sharing evidence, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau said, "Canada has a rigorous and independent justice system, that we trust, to follow through the processes, we will ensure that those processes are strictly, abided by and respected."Regarding the safety of Canadians, he said, "I can tell everyone that Canada is a safe country. We always take Canadians' safety seriously, whether they are at home or abroad.""Canada has a rigorous and independent justice system, that we trust, to follow through the processes, we will ensure that those processes are strictly, abided by and respected. In terms of safety in Canada and the safety of Canadians, we always take the safety of Canadians extremely seriously, whether at home or overseas, I can assure everyone that Canada is a safe country," Trudeau said, while adding, "I continue to call, for calm, and for Canadians to remain true to who we are, open, respectful, grounded in, respect and trust in our institutions and, our law enforcement and justice systems."Speaking further, the Canadian PM repeated his allegations over the killing of the Khalistani leader and stated, "I think it's extremely important that as a country with a strong and independent justice system. We allow those justice processes to unfold themselves with the utmost integrity. But I can assure you, the decision to share these allegations on the floor of the House of Commons was not made lightly. It was done with utmost seriousness..."Nijjar, the chief of Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF)- a Sikh extremist organisation banned by India and a "designated terrorist" was killed in a targeted shooting at British Columbia in Canada's Surrey in June 2018.
India, however, rejected the allegations by the Trudeau administration, terming them "absurd" and "motivated".
"We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.
"Allegations of Government of India's involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated," the MEA added in its statement.
"Similar allegations were made by the Canadian Prime Minister to our Prime Minister and were completely rejected. We are a democratic polity with a strong commitment to the rule of law," it added.
India on Tuesday expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a reciprocal move to Canada expelling a senior Indian diplomat in light of the claim of New Delhi's involvement in the killing of the wanted separatist leader.
The MEA said that the Canadian diplomat was asked to leave India within the next five days.
"The High Commissioner of Canada to India was summoned today and informed about the decision of the Government of India to expel a senior Canadian diplomat based in India," the MEA stated.
"The concerned diplomat has been asked to leave India within the next five days. The decision reflects the Government of India's growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities," it added. (ANI)