India and Canada’s Recent Challenges; Everything You Need to Know

 The relationship between Canada and India has recently faced a number of difficulties that have caused worry on both sides. For India, the K term in geopolitics and diplomacy has long been associated with Kashmir, but now another K, Khalistan, has emerged as being extremely problematic, cutting connections between India and Canada.

What was formerly thought to be a rather solid diplomatic relationship between the two countries, with a bilateral trade connection valued at an impressive $100 billion, has come under strain as a result of a number of upsetting events.

In a speech that was harshly denounced by New Delhi, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused the Indian government of being involved in the murder of pro-Khalistan activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. As the Canadian parliament convened on Monday, Trudeau said in the House of Commons, "Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty." Later, Foreign Minister Melanie Joly disclosed that due to the incident, Canada had also removed a senior Indian diplomat.

The Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng made the decision to postpone an October trade mission to India earlier this month, shortly after the G20 conference. This action was taken after both nations previously stated their desire to sign a first trade agreement within the same year. Trade negotiations were terminated as a result, casting economic cooperation into doubt.

During the September 2023 G20 conference in New Delhi, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi expressed grave concerns. He expressed his concerns over anti-Indian protests happening in Canada, especially those connected to pro-Khalistan, pro-Sikh separatist views. Given the history of Sikh insurgency in the nation throughout the 1980s and 1990s, these rallies have been a rising source of concern for Indian authorities.

S. Jaishankar, the foreign minister of India, criticised Canada in June 2023 for allowing a float in a parade to represent the killing of Indira Gandhi by her bodyguards in 1984. Sikh separatists viewed this image as condoning violence. The events of 1984, notably the invasion of the holiest Sikh temple on Indira Gandhi's orders, had sparked widespread outrage among Sikhs.

Another incident occurred in March 2023 when India called Canada's High Commissioner to discuss pro-Khalistan demonstrators there. These demonstrators violated the security of India's consulates and diplomatic posts, escalating tensions between the two countries.

It is crucial to take into account the sizeable Sikh community in Canada, which has sway over the nation, in order to comprehend the underlying causes of these problems. One of the largest Indian diasporas exists in Canada. 3% of the population of Canada is of Indian descent. The nation is home to around 700,000 non-resident Indians and 1.6 million persons with Indian ancestry. The government of India has voiced worry over a few extreme factions in this organisation who still support the idea of an independent Sikh state, known as Khalistan, that exists apart from India.

Many people's recollections of the Sikh insurgency in the 1980s and 1990s, which claimed the lives of almost 30,000 people, are still scarred. The terrible loss of all 329 persons aboard the Air India Boeing 747 that was bombed in 1985 while flying from Canada to India serves as a sobering reminder of the negative effects of Sikh militancy.

Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada, has repeatedly reassured India that Canada does not support the resurgence of any separatist forces within India. He has, however, continually emphasised how crucial it is for demonstrators to have the freedom of speech and the right to assemble.


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