New York: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday (local time) said that he is not a part of the intelligence group when asked for comment on the reported sharing of intelligence between Five Eyes countries on Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s killing. He was asked about the reports citing the role of the Five Eyes group regarding the intelligence behind the killing of Khalistani separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, and reports of the FBI warning US Sikh leaders about “credible threats” to them.
Responding to the question during the ‘Discussion at Council on Foreign Relations’ in New York, Jaishankar said, “I am not part of The Five Eyes, I am certainly not part of the FBI. So I think you are asking the wrong person”.
The Five Eyes is an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US and the UK. Earlier, David Cohen, the US Ambassador to Canada, said that it was “shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners” that led the Trudeau administration to make the claim of a potential link between “agents” of the Indian government and the killing of separatist Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
During the event, the EAM also highlighted the “organised crime, related to secessionist forces, violence and extremism” in Canada, raising concerns over them being “very permissive” due to political reasons.
“In the last few years, Canada actually has seen a lot of organized crime, relating to the secessionist forces, organized crime, violence and extremism. They’re all very, very deeply mixed up. So in fact, we have been talking about specifics and information,” Jaishankar said.
Regarding PM Trudeau’s allegations, Jaishankar assured that the Indian side will take action if the Canadian side provides specific information in connection with Khalistani leader Hardeep Nijjar’s killing.
“We told the Canadians that this is not the government of India’s policy. Secondly, we said if you have something specific and if you have something relevant, let us know. We are open to looking at it…The picture is not complete without the context in a way,” he said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau set the cat among the pigeons on Monday, claiming that Ottawa had credible intelligence linking Indian agents to the killing of Nijjar in Vancouver. India, however, dismissed the allegations calling them “absurd and motivated”. India has suspended its visa services in Canada, following Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau’s allegations of Indian involvement in the killing.
Amid strained ties, India issued an advisory for its citizens and those who are travelling to Canada to exercise “utmost caution in view of growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence” in the country. A designated terrorist in India, Nijjar was shot dead outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18.