India Expels Top Canadian Diplomat in Tit-for-Tat Move Over Trudeau Govt Action

This comes after Justin Trudeau alleged India's role in the killing of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

2 min read

Hours after the Canadian government expelled a top Indian diplomat over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegations against India regarding the killing of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, India has in a 'tit-for-tat' move expelled a top Canadian diplomat.

The expelled diplomat is Olivier Sylvestere, a high-ranking intelligence officer in the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and top diplomat in India, The Quint has learnt.

"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 concerned diplomat has been asked to leave India within the next five days," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

"The decision reflects 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.

The Canadian government had on Tuesday, 19 September, expelled top Indian diplomat Pavan Kumar Rai – a 1997 batch Punjab cadre IPS officer posted as a minister in the Indian mission in Ottawa, Canada.

Trudeau's Allegations & India's Response

During a session in the Canadian Parliament on Monday, 18 September, Trudeau said that Canadian intelligence agencies have been looking into the allegations over Nijjar's killing and added that he discussed the matter with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi during the G20 Summit in New Delhi last week.

“Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty. Canada is a rule of law country, the protection of our citizens in defence of our sovereignty are fundamental," he said while addressing the Canadian Parliament.

Trudeau also said that he had conveyed to the Indian PM “in no uncertain terms” that any involvement of the Indian government would be "unacceptable."

In response to Trudeau's comments, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued a statement on 19 September, Tuesday, calling the allegations "absurd and motivated."

"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."
MEA's statement

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