Justin Trudeau and Joe Biden / Image: X
If there is one thing successive administrations in Washington find difficult, it is in staying out of things the United States is not involved in. And the classic example is in the manner the Biden administration got involved in the India-Canada spat.
Forget the fact that Justin Trudeau ran to weep on the shoulders of his neighbor, Joe Biden, complaining of Official India’s complicity in the killing of a Canadian national and that too only based on so-called credible allegations.
President Biden did only what was expected—keeping quiet but allowing his staffers at the State Department and National Security Council to rant the usual lines of the need to cooperate in the ongoing investigations and the primacy of international law in inter-state relations. And between all these lecturing comes the information that much of Ottawa’s initial ire was based on what American intelligence agencies shared, independently or through the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance.
The fact that other alliance members in the Five Eyes like Britain, Australia and New Zealand said little to nothing substantive says volumes of the realities of geo-politics.
If President Biden is really a true friend of India he would have read Prime Minister Trudeau the riot act—that for the last forty years India has been sitting back and allowing the Khalistanis to run amok in Canada and in recent months going around destroying government of India property and threatening lives of Indian diplomats stationed in that country.
In fact President Biden should have cornered Premier Trudeau on why it was that Ottawa literally sat on the repeated attempts to extradite Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a designated terrorist; and what basis Nijjar was granted citizenship when his credentials were for all to see.
Nijjar’s “Canadian” citizenship is itself being questioned now and to say that somehow the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) or the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) missed all the red flags raised by New Delhi especially in the aftermath of 9/11 and the likes of Osama bin Laden were being hunted down by western intelligence with great gusto itself needs to be probed seriously.
It is now said and with some authority that Nijjar, a leader in the Khalistan Tiger Force( also designated as a terror outfit by India), entry into Canada was itself on a mountain of lies and deceit, including false asylum claims and a “marriage” to a local to facilitate the process perhaps. How was it that Nijjar was eventually granted Canadian citizenship?
Premier Trudeau was lucky not to have Presidents George W Bush or Barack Obama sitting in the Oval Office right now. Neither of them would have picked up the phone and offered words of comfort to a person seen as being in denial.
President Biden and senior American officials should ask Premier Trudeau to answer questions first before turning on to lecture India. It is bad enough for the United States to be still hunting down terrorists thousands of miles away; and to see a close ally nurturing extremists and thugs across the border is not exactly a pleasant thought.