(MENAFN- Live Mint) "The tensions between the two countries India-Canada escalated after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged that the Indian government was behind the fatal shooting of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Nijjar was gunned down outside a Gurdwara, in a parking area in Canada's Surrey, British Columbia on June 18. The allegations made by the Canadian Prime Minister and foreign minister were rejected by the Ministry of External Affairs in India which dubbed the statements as absurd.India-Canada news LIVE updatesSince then, the two countries have been involved in tit for tat situation right from expelling diplomats to suspending visa services among others. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also said that Canada is not looking to \"provoke or cause problems\" with India as he urged New Delhi to take the matter \"extremely seriously\" and work with Ottawa to \"uncover the truth\".
Also Read: Billions at stake: India-Canada economic ties have been flourishing; then, Justin Trudeau accused New Delhi of murderNotably, the Canadian PM has failed to present any evidence to back his claims while India believes the Trudeau government is not addressing its genuine concerns. Both the countries stands to lose from this dispute. Experts have said that Ottawa stands to lose in terms of trade and its ability to be part of the network of Indo-Pacific institutions while India's image as a democratic country committed to rules-based order could take a hit, as reported by PTI.Also Read: India-Canada row: US envoy says Trudeau govt received intelligence from Five Eyes partners ahead of public allegationsWhat's at stake for Justin Trudeau?'If US has to pick side, it will choose...'
The United States has made clear that it expects the Indian government to work with Canada on efforts to investigate the possible involvement of New Delhi. However, on Saturday, Former Pentagon official Michael Rubin said that if the US has to choose between Canada and India, it will choose India as the relationship is \"too important.\" Michael Rubin is a former Pentagon official and senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute Specialisation in Iran, Turkey, and South Asia. He also argued that India is strategically more important than Canada and that Ottawa picking a fight with India is like \"an ant picking a fight against an elephant.\"
While speaking to news agency ANI, Rubin said,“I suspect that the United States doesn't want to be painted a corner to choose between two friends. But if we have to choose between two friends, increasingly we're going to choose India on this matter, simply because Nijjar was a terrorist, and India is too important. Our relationship is too important.\" The former Pentagon official further slammed Trudeau and said that Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a khalistani terrorist allegedly killed by his erstwhile comrades, is not a model to use for“human rights\" and he was a terrorist involved in multiple attacks.\"Exciting news! Mint is now on WhatsApp Channels 🚀 Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest financial insights!\" Click here!Justin Trudeau's declining popularityAs Canada is set to go into elections in 2025, Justin Trudeau popularity seems to have taken a hit, giving way to Conservative Right wing opposition candidate Pierre Poilievre. His handling of the killing of Khalistan extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar seems to indicate a subtle dissociation from a right-wing leader in order to propel his static year-over-year at 31 percent popularity as best choice for Prime Minister candidate. Justin Trudeau's ally is NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who is a Khalistan sympathiser. According to the recent poll, Singh's popularity has slipped four points since September 2022, with 22 per cent of respondents saying he's the best choice to lead the government. According to a new Ipsos poll done exclusively for Global News show that 40 percent of Canadians say Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is the best choice to be prime minister. Speaking on the ongoing diplomatic stand-off between India and Canada, Poilievre has said that the Canadian PM should come out“clean with all the facts\".Trade and Indo-Pacific institutionsIn a blogpost by Wilson Institute, Canada Institute Associate Xavier Delgado said that Ottawa stands to lose from its spat with India over the killing of a Sikh separatist in terms of trade and its ability to be part of the network of Indo-Pacific institutions while India's image as a democratic country committed to rules-based order could take a hit. A chilling of relations with India could hinder Canada's ability to join the network of Indo-Pacific institutions, both because regional allies will be wary of angering the Modi government and because India itself could block Canadian membership in certain groups. Ottawa is clearly aware of India's influence and power in the region,\" Delgado said.(With inputs from agencies)
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