India cooperating with US investigation as information legally tenable, Canada yet to share proper evidence: Indian Envoy to Canada
India’s High Commissioner to Canada, Sanjay Kumar Verma, has stated that the Indian government is cooperating with an American investigation into an alleged thwarted assassination attempt. However, there is a disparity in the level of cooperation regarding Canada’s probe into the June killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia’s Surrey. The difference in information shared by both nations in their respective investigations is cited as a factor in this distinction.
In an interview with CTV’s Question Period host Vassy Kapelos, Sanjay Kumar Verma highlighted that his understanding is that U.S. authorities have shared more specific information regarding their investigation with India than Canada has. This, according to him, is a key factor influencing the level of India’s cooperation in both cases.
Recently, the Financial Times published a report claiming that the U.S. thwarted a plan to allegedly assassinate India-designated terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil. The U.S. had reportedly informed India of concerns regarding the alleged plot to kill Pannun.
In September, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made allegations suggesting India’s involvement in Nijjar’s killing, which India has vehemently rejected, deeming the allegations “absurd” and politically motivated. The varying degrees of cooperation underscore the nuanced dynamics of international investigations and diplomatic engagements.
Sanjay Kumar Verma, India’s High Commissioner to Canada, has strongly refuted the allegations regarding India’s involvement in the homicide of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Verma termed the allegations “motivated and absurd,” asserting that India was “absolutely” and “decidedly” not involved in the incident. These allegations had led to diplomatic tensions between India and Canada.
Verma emphasized that the investigation in the U.S., regarding the thwarted assassination attempt, is at a much-advanced stage, and Indian authorities are cooperating based on “inputs which are legally presentable.” While he does not oversee India-U.S. relations, he indicated that better information is shared within India in the context of the U.S. investigation.
Regarding Canada’s inputs related to Nijjar’s killing, Verma mentioned that Indian authorities cannot respond to the case as conversations could involve facts of the case. However, he emphasized that allegations and facts do not necessarily make the information specific and relevant. The nuanced handling of these investigations and the careful navigation of diplomatic relations underscore the complexities involved in addressing such incidents with international ramifications.
Sanjay Kumar Verma, India’s High Commissioner to Canada, emphasized the need for specific and relevant information to conduct investigations, responding to questions about Canada’s National Security Advisor sharing inputs related to allegations related to the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Verma stated that conversations did take place during Canada’s National Security Advisor’s visit to India, but specific and relevant details were required for India to seek permission from legal authorities to conduct an investigation.
Highlighting the importance of factual information, Verma explained that conversations might involve allegations or some facts of the case, but specific details were necessary for legal authorities to consider moving forward with an investigation. He noted that in a country governed by the rule of law, it would not be possible to advance investigations without concrete and relevant inputs.
The nuanced response underscores the legal and procedural considerations involved in cross-border investigations and the necessity of precise information for legal authorities to authorize and pursue inquiries. Diplomatic discussions and cooperation in such matters require careful navigation to ensure adherence to legal processes and respect for the rule of law.
India’s High Commissioner to Canada, Sanjay Kumar Verma, has provided details about the inputs shared by the U.S. with India. According to Verma, the inputs suggest a nexus between gangsters, drug peddlers, terrorists, and gun runners in the U.S., with some believed to have Indian connections. However, he emphasized that when referring to Indian connections, it does not imply connections with the government of India but rather individuals among the 1.4 billion population.
Verma stated that these inputs are ready to be investigated as they are legally presentable. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had previously mentioned that the U.S. shared inputs during discussions on India-U.S. security cooperation, focusing on the nexus between organized criminals, gun runners, terrorists, and others. The MEA highlighted that India takes such inputs seriously, as they impact its security interests. Both countries are reportedly taking necessary follow-up actions in response to these shared inputs.