British MP Khalid Mahmood on Tuesday raised the issue of Canadian Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in the parliament likening the development to India’s ‘state terrorism.’
The Pakistani-origin parliamentarian said, “Yesterday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that allegations that India was behind the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar were credible. Hardeep was a prominent activist within the Canadian diaspora campaigning for Khalistan independence.
Mahmood said that Sikhs had long suspected India to be behind the ‘recent killing, which appears to be grotesque and completely illegal extraterrestrial expansion of Modi government and authoritarian crushing of dissent within India itself. (sic)’
He continued, “I would urge the government to warn the Indian counterpart that such state terrorism will not be allowed to impact the government-to-government relations.”
Mahmood, whose Perry Barr constituency in Birmingham has a significantly large Sikh population, urged the Rishi Sunak government o make an urgent state to assure British Sikhs on the matter.
Today I raised a point of order about the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Canada alleges that Modi’s government has a role in the killing. State terrorism cannot be tolerated. @SikhFedUK @sikhs4labour pic.twitter.com/A3vFa4pbMo
— Khalid Mahmood (@khalid4PB) September 19, 2023
Mahmood’s statement in British parliament came days after the Canadian government expelled a high-ranking Indian diplomat for his alleged role in the killing of Nijjar. Trudeau had made an extraordinary statement blaming the Indian government for carrying out the targeted murder of a Sikh leader on Candian soil.
“Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” Trudeau said in a statement.
The Indian government reacted swiftly denying Trudeau’s allegations. However, New Delhi wasted no time in expelling a senior Canadian diplomat from India in a retaliatory move.
The British government said that it was closely watching the development in the wake of serious allegations made by Trudeau.
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly told the BBC that his country will ‘listen very, very carefully to the serious concerns that have been raised by Canada’ about the killing of Nijjar in British Columbia.
Cleverly, however, refused to say if Britain would suspend trade talks with India in the wake of this serious development.
He said, “Both Canada and India are close friends of the UK, they’re Commonwealth partners, we take very seriously the things that Canada are saying.”
The US State Department said that it was ‘quite concerned’ over the murder allegations, and urged the Narendra Modi government to co-operate with a ‘full and open investigation.’