Very seldom do countries become breeding grounds for secessionists in other countries. Pakistan was a remote example in the 80s to have done this by training and motivating the Punjab youth to create a secessionist movement in Punjab. Now a far-flung country, Canada is trying to replicate it on fake ideological grounds. The entire world sits up to understand what is driving Canada to build a canard and freeze diplomatic relations with India. There is a big debate within Canada itself as to what drove Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to go public on the matter of the killing of Khalistan Tiger Force activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in whose case the Canadian police investigations have, so far, failed to cut much ice.
There is no evidence whatsoever with which Trudeau could buttress his claim of "credible allegations" against the Indian Government's involvement in the killing of Nijjar. There is no gainsaying the fact that Nijjar made his way to Canada on fake documents and later wedded a local to gain citizenship, which, according to some reports, is still suspect. The gurdwara in Vancouver where he was killed by two motorcycle-borne persons has been a disputed place for Nijjar is alleged to have occupied it forcefully. Since June 18 when Nijjar was gunned down the Canadian police investigations have made little progress. Leave aside arresting the culprits, even if their identity has not been established yet. Groping in this dark for the last for the last more than three months the Prime Minister suddenly takes to the floor of Parliament to cast suspicion on the involvement of the Indian Government on "perceived and alleged"grounds.
No wonder, the leader of Canada's opposition Conservative Party Pierre Poilievre has called for evidence of a "potential link" between the Nijjar's killing and the Indian Government even as a leading newspaper stated categorically that "it turns out that Trudeau dropped this metaphorical bomb without having all ducks in order, it will be a huge scandal with massive domestic and geopolitical ramifications". While India has taken a positive step by offering to help Canada in the investigation of the case, the onus would be on the Trudeau government to come up with credible evidence, otherwise, Canada is going to lose massively on the international forum.
Trudeau's pitch would become more slippery now with the killing of another Punjab terrorist Sukha Duneke in Canada today allegedly in the inter-gang conflict. Will Trudeau also attribute this murder to the Indian agencies even as the Lawrence Bishnoi gang has taken the responsibility of executing the murder? In Nijjar's case also, senior officials here have pointed out a dispute over the administrative control of the gurudwara that led to his killing, though it has not been substantiated.
It simply reflects Trudeau's short-sighted and immature leadership in the face of the minority government that he has been running. For no credible reason, the entire Indian diaspora in Canada stands divided now. While the Khalistani elements are emboldened to no end with the public posture that Trudeau has adopted, the rest of the diaspora would be in panic. Even as the Indian authorities have sounded a word of caution for the Hindus in Canada, the Sikhs for Justice has decided to intensify its pro-Khalistan campaign in days to come. Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, spokesperson for Sikhs for Justice has announced that he will lead a pro-Nijjar rally in front of the Indian consulate.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with Prime Minister narendra Modi in New Delhi
It is beyond doubt that Trudeau is playing Khalistan politics for political reasons. Being in the minority he enjoys the support of the New Democratic Party of Khalistan following which he has seemingly started playing to the Khalistan separatist gallery. The matter was hammered home to him and his team of diplomats during the G 20 meeting in Delhi following which he developed a cold shoulder towards India and as soon as he got back to his country the first thing he did was to go public on the Nijjar murder case without any substance to support his contention.
It brings us to the contention: does Canada, being a multilingual and multicultural country, support a theocratic state in the name of the Sikh religion? It has allowed the Referendum for Khalistan in Canada time and again even though the entire exercise fails to enthuse the Indian diaspora and draws poor support from among the Sikhs as well.
By making Canada a nursery of Punjabi terrorists Trudeau is only playing with the fire. According to Indian officials, Canada has provided shelter to more than two dozen Sikh terrorists who made their way into the country through illegal means.
Has Canada become a new haven for terrorists? Will the Trudeau politics be driven by secessionists and terrorists who aim at creating law and order problems in the country of their origin? In Punjab, there have been more than a dozen incidents of violence in which the investigating agencies found that the support to the subversives in terms of resources was granted by terrorists enjoying the shelter of the Trudeau government.
In days to come, it is going to be a big challenge to the credibility of Canada after Trudeau has brought the country to the brink for his political reasons.
(The writer is a Chandigarh-based senior media person)