Intelligence from the United States assisted Canada in its investigation into the death of a Sikh leader there that Canadian authorities say is connected to India.
The New York Times reports the United States offered information that led Canada to conclude that the Indian government had a role in the killing of outspoken Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
While the information the U.S. provided moved Canada’s investigation further along, it was Canada that uncovered what the Times called a smoking gun- intercepted communications of Indian diplomats based in Canada.
The New Delhi government denies any involvement in Nijjar’s death.
“I can assure you that the decision to share these allegations on the floor of the House of Commons … was not done lightly,” The Independent reported Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday. “It was done with the utmost seriousness.”
The allegations have severely damaged relations between Canada and India, while the United States has tried to stay out of the controversy. However, the new reports could put that strategy at risk.
US Ambassador to Canada David Cohen confirmed to CTV that the U.S. did hand over its intelligence to Canada and that the Biden administration has expressed concern to India.
“If they prove to be true, it is a potentially a very serious breach of the rules based international order,” the ambassador said.
India has since expelled a Canadian diplomat and Canada has kicked out a senior diplomat working for Indian intelligence.
Nijjar advocated for an independent Sikh state and the creation of Khalistan.
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