Prime Minister Justin Trudeau failed to pressure Canada’s allies, including the United States, to accuse India of killing Khalistani activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar before he ultimately had to make the explosive allegation in the House of Commons on Monday.
This is according to a report by the Washington Post which outlined behind-the-scenes diplomatic conversations between Canada and its allies that ultimately failed to convince fellow Five Eyes countries to rebuke India.
Senior officials of the intelligence alliance discussed the killing of Nijjar at the G20 summit in India privately but refrained from making a public mention given India’s prominent role as a host.
Shortly after returning to Ottawa, Trudeau made the serious allegation that India orchestrated Nijjar’s killing in Canada which has since sent Canada-India relations into a tailspin.
Despite these backroom talks, none of Canada’s closest allies have gone as far as Trudeau in condemning India’s alleged involvement.
Neither US President Joe Biden nor UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have addressed the issue.
On Tuesday, White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said that the US was “deeply concerned” about Trudeau’s allegations before calling for an investigation.
“(We are) deeply concerned about allegations referenced by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,” said Watson.
“We remain in regular contact with our Canadian partners. It is critical that Canada’s investigation proceed and the perpetrators be brought to justice.”
As for Sunak, his government has said that despite the allegations made by the Canadian prime minister, it would continue with its ongoing trade deal negotiations with India.
“We’re in close touch with our Canadian partners about these serious allegations,” said Sunak’s spokesperson.
“It’s right that the Canadian authorities are looking into them. But I’m not going to get ahead of that work that needs to take place now… with regards to the current negotiations with India, these are negotiations about a trade deal and we are not looking to conflate with other issues”.