Spread the word that Canada harbours terrorists


The discourse in western media, academic and political circles on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegation that the Indian government may have a potential link to the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, is getting bizarre by the day. A proscribed terrorist, a man with an Interpol Red Corner Notice on him, a man who gained entry into Canada on a fake passport, whose citizenship was rejected at least twice, is being painted as a saintly Sikh leader and activist, whose only crime was to seek Punjab’s secession, because of which he was killed by India. In fact, it’s as if by consensus that Nijjar’s criminal activities are being ignored to the extent of being suppressed. Reading any western media report, the uninformed may get the impression of India being a rogue state on testosterone, indulging in “transnational repression”—a phrase coined by human rights groups and generally reserved for authoritarian states. It’s a different matter that the United States, the biggest perpetrator of targeted killings outside warzones, is not guilty of any “transnational repression”, if these commentators have to be believed. So the same people who applaud the western world’s extrajudicial killings, would box India with Russia, China and North Korea if it is found to have killed Nijjar. It’s a different matter that there is zero evidence until now of India’s involvement in the killing. But then that’s what Trudeau did with his unsubstantiated claim—fed the confirmation bias of a large section of western “civil society” that India is a bully state, where Hindu extremists oppress minorities and Nijjar’s killing is an extension of that. The assumption is that if the allegation has come from the leader of a G7 country, which is a “liberal” democracy, it must be correct. So the need of the hour is to either sanction India or to take it to the United Nations and get strictures passed against it. This is the sum and substance of the hysterical commentary coming from a large section of the western media and think-tanks. It’s as if begrudging India’s coming out party at the G20, they have finally found a tool to put India in a hole where they think it belongs. Such is the insanity that the Canadian media and political class are even wondering if Trudeau had got stranded in Delhi two weeks ago because the Indian government sabotaged his aircraft. It’s a case of logic flying out of the window. What would India gain by eliminating Trudeau—or for that matter, even Nijjar, when he was definitely not the biggest criminal among the thugs that operate in Surrey in Canada’s British Columbia province? India, the world’s largest democracy, does not function like that.
As for Trudeau, his frustrating trip to India where he felt sidelined and was chided for not acting against Khalistani terror may have triggered his outburst even when the police investigation was going on. It looks like a desperate attempt to shore up his falling poll numbers by using the “Canada under attack” bogey. It was a purely political move to serve his own purpose, in the process of which he destroyed Canada’s relationship with India. He also perhaps hoped to put public pressure on the G7 and the Five Eyes countries to issue a joint statement against India, which he has been trying to get done for months, but in vain. Now under pressure to produce evidence, he has started planting dubious “information” about the case to prove India’s involvement. But since when has intelligence come to be regarded as evidence? The attack on Iraq by the US under George W. Bush was cooked up on the basis of intelligence received on the existence of weapons of mass destruction in that country. However, nothing was found and Iraq—in fact, the whole region—was laid to waste because of Bush’s criminal action based on poorly interpreted, or maybe even fake intelligence. The Indian side is clear, that Trudeau has not shared even intelligence, forget evidence, with India for it to examine the matter. And now with the US getting dragged into the case, on whether or not it shared any intelligence with Canada, India-US relations may have been tossed into some roiling waters, at least in public perception. India-US relations are the most consequential of this century if the world has to survive the rise of a malevolent China in the east. Trudeau, who is believed to be heavily influenced by that power, cannot be allowed to sabotage India-US relations, or the Quad, for his selfish gains.
Talking about democratic values, even when cheering the extrajudicial killing of Ayman Al Zawahiri by the US, as Trudeau did last year, amounts to hypocrisy. There cannot be any hierarchy when it comes to criminality or terrorism. The white man’s criminal should be punished, but the brown man’s criminal is an activist, so must be supported, will not work. If Canada wants India’s respect, its cooperation, it must pay heed to India’s concerns. For years India has been asking for action on the Khalistani terror and narcotics network flourishing on Canadian soil, but in vain—and this in spite of providing ample evidence. Now that the world is waking up to the Khalistani problem, India must shed its usual diplomatic reticence and drive home the message that Canada is an incubator of terrorism.