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Why Trudeau is singing a different tune now

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AP

Justin Trudeau has spoken once more. However this time in a unique tone. He wasn’t flinging wild allegations at India, nor was he equating separatism to free speech. Trudeau now desires nearer ties with India. These had been his phrases that Canada desires to construct nearer relations with India. The identical nation he was accused of homicide. So, what’s the deal right here? Does Trudeau suppose he was unsuitable, or has he realised that he’s alone?  

First Trudeau accused India of doubtless murdering a Canadian citizen. He then requested India to cooperate. And now he says I need to be associates. Clearly, Trudeau missed the category on diplomacy or a minimum of its easiest lesson – in order for you friendship, don’t accuse that nation of homicide. 

Anyway, that doesn’t matter now. Trudeau has already executed the harm. The one query is – why is he dialling down? To reply that, we have to take a look at some latest developments. None of them look good for Trudeau. 

Primary: Hardeep Singh Nijjar had hyperlinks to Canadian intelligence. We’re not saying this, Nijjar’s son is. He says his father used to fulfill with Canadian spooks often. Simply how frequent? Two to a few instances per week. These conferences started in February 2023. There was one assembly simply two days earlier than his homicide. There was one other scheduled after his loss of life.  

What had been these conferences about? Absolutely not his safety. You’ll talk about safety with the police or the native administration. Why would you talk about it with spies? So clearly, there was one thing extra at play. And what’s Canada saying about this? Nothing as normal – it’s all ‘under investigation’.  

However these claims elevate an uncomfortable query for Canada. Was Nijjar a Canadian asset? Did Canadian spies weaponise him? In accordance with Indian sources – it’s probably. Indian sources imagine that Nijjar might have been working with Canadian intelligence. His son’s claims give credibility to that suspicion. 

Quantity two: Trudeau’s double normal has been questioned. In 2020, a Baloch activist was killed in Canada. Her title was Karima Baloch. She was kidnapped and later discovered useless. Most individuals pointed fingers at Pakistan’s spy company, the Inter-Service Intelligence, or ISI. Did Trudeau stand in parliament and accuse Pakistan? No, he didn’t. Would be the Baloch vote financial institution wasn’t large enough. 

However now, Karima Baloch’s husband is questioning Trudeau. He says Pakistan’s ISI murdered her. He additionally desires Canada to reopen the case. Baloch rights organisations are saying the identical: “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s conspicuous silence regarding the unexplained death of Karima Baloch stands in stark contrast to his impassioned speeches concerning the shooting death of  Hardeep Singh Nijjar”. 

Arduous to argue with that. A lot anger over a possible hyperlink, but, a lot negligence after a mysterious loss of life. 

Quantity three: India’s international minister S Jaishanakar met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken this week. Did they talk about the Canada subject? Effectively, the official assertion doesn’t point out it. It talks concerning the G20, area and defence nevertheless it doesn’t point out Canada. That doesn’t imply Canada didn’t come up. 

India’s international minister says he did speak about Canada – each with Blinken and with US nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan. Jaishankar elaborated on India’s issues. He mentioned Canada has a permissive perspective in direction of extremism.  

And what did Blinken say? Stories say he urged India to cooperate with Canada. This isn’t new. The US has requested India to cooperate a number of instances. So why not embody it within the assertion? Perhaps the US desires quiet diplomacy. Perhaps they needed to concentrate on the positives solely.  

Both approach, it’s not a great search for Trudeau. He mentioned Blinken would elevate the difficulty with Jaishankar. However the assertion doesn’t even point out it. A lot for Canada’s closest ally and buddy! 

Quantity 4 is the assist for India. We’re not certain Trudeau anticipated this however domestically, Indians have rallied behind the federal government. Opposition events, civil society, and even hackers. This week, the web site of Canada’s armed forces was hacked – it was disabled for 2 hours. The cyber-attack was claimed by the Indian cyber drive, a pro-India hacking group.  

In fact, India had nothing to do with this. These hackers function outdoors official management, however who is aware of! Perhaps Trudeau will discover a potential hyperlink right here.  

India’s neighbours are additionally rallying towards Canada. Sri Lanka was the primary to talk out. Their international minister known as Trudeau’s allegations outrageous. He additionally mentioned Canada harbours terrorists. Bangladesh is now saying the identical. Right here’s what its international minister mentioned: “The murderers can go to Canada and take shelter, and they can have a wonderful life while those they killed, their relatives are suffering”. 

Once more, laborious to argue with that. The actual fact is, Justin Trudeau is remoted. Perhaps the US has supported him behind closed doorways. However in public, they haven’t. And so they received’t except he affords proof. it’s been 12 days since Trudeau made his allegations. We’re nonetheless ready for the proof. 

So, the selection is now his. He can hold spending political capital on this subject or he can dial down. He can deal with this maturely and diplomatically. 

Trudeau might have fired the primary shot on this face-off however he’s now in defence mode. The media, the Indian authorities, activists, everyone seems to be questioning his expenses or his previous hypocrisy. So does he retreat or push ahead? What he chooses might determine the way forward for India-Canada relations. Perhaps his political future too.



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