'Responsibility to Defend Law': Canada's Bill Blair Amid Nijjar Row With India

But Defence Minister Blair added that Canada will continue pursuing ties like the Indo-Pacific strategy with India.

2 min read

Canadian Minister of Defence Bill Blair said that Ottawa will continue to pursue partnerships with New Delhi, like the Indo-Pacific strategy, as they continue to investigate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegations over the involvement of "agents of the Indian Government" in the murder of Pro-Khalistan Leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Blair said the strategy was still a critical one for Canada, and has led to an increased military presence in the region.

Speaking to Global News, Blair outlined the significance of Canada's relationship with India but added, "We understand that this can be, and has proven to be, a challenging issue with respect to our relationship with India."

“But at the same time, we have a responsibility to defend the law, defend our citizens, and at the same time make sure that we conduct a thorough investigation and get to the truth.”

Commenting on a scenario where the allegations are proven true, Blair said:

"There is a very significant concern that Canada will have with respect to the violation of our sovereignty in the murder of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had alleged the involvement of Indian government officials in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, alleged to be involved in separatist activities.

Trudeau said that Canadian security agencies had "credible" evidence that "agents of the Indian government" had assassinated Nijjar, who was a Canadian citizen. 

India had "completely rejected" the claims and went ahead to publicly declare its concerns at "Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

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