Canada-India trade negotiations on hold until India assists with Nijjar investigation, minister implies

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‘Canada’s Trade Minister Mary Ng made headlines on Wednesday, suggesting that talks to restart trade negotiations with India won’t happen until Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government cooperates with the investigation into the murder of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Vancouver. Canadian businesses continue to trade with India, emphasizing the government’s role to support their endeavors. The India-Canada relationship has seen tension in light of evidence suggesting Modi’s government may have been involved in Nijjar’s killing, an allegation denied by India. Pressure from allies like the U.S. and the U.K continues to mount as they call on India to collaborate in the ongoing investigation.

Devastation struck the Sikh community in British Columbia when Hardeep Singh Nijjar was fatally shot outside a Sikh temple in Surrey on June 18. This tragic event paved the way for complex diplomatic relations between Canada and India. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, following an uncomfortable trip to India for the G20 summit, publicly accused the Indian government of being involved in Nijjar’s murder and India firmly rejected the allegation. This led to strained relations, with India threatening to revoke the diplomatic immunity of Canadian diplomats, eventually resulting in the withdrawal of 41 Canadian diplomats from India.

The situation escalated as Canada accused India of obstructing the investigation into Nijjar’s killing, leading to pressure from allies like the U.S. and the U.K. to urge India to cooperate. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated this call for India to assist in the ongoing investigation in his meeting with his Indian counterpart. As geopolitical tensions intensify, Canada is making it clear that restarting trade talks with India is contingent on the collaboration in the investigation into Nijjar’s murder.

It is evident that the current circumstances reflect the complexity of international relations and the challenges that arise when suspicions of this nature emerge. The future of trade talks between Canada and India remains uncertain, and it will likely take significant collaboration and commitment from both nations to navigate through this tense diplomatic impasse.”


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