Big chance for Pakistan to expose India

ISLAMABAD  -  Pakistan has a big chance to expose India as a global terrorist amid the India-Canada row over the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the Sikh leader, in Canada. This comes after decades of New Delhi’s alle­gations against Islam­abad of allegedly spon­soring terrorism only for the reason that Pakistan demanded the right of self-de­termination for the Kahsmiris.

Tension between Canada and In­dia threatens to further strain their already fraying relations. Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, assert­ed that his government was active­ly investigating credible allegations linking Indian agents to the assassi­nation of a Sikh separatist leader. This dispute has implications not only for diplomatic ties but also for trade re­lations, as discussions on a proposed trade deal were put on hold last week.

The root of this tension lies in calls for a separate Sikh homeland in In­dia, known as Khalistan. These calls have gained momentum recently, especially in the Sikh diaspora, with some advocating for independence. However, it is important to note that this movement is not the majority position in modern Punjab’s politics. 

Hardeep Singh Nijjar was a Canadian citizen with ties to the Khalistan Tiger Force, a group advo­cating for an indepen­dent Khalistan. India had designated him as a terrorist in 2020, although his support­ers contested these alle­gations.

In the backdrop of these dip­lomatic tensions, India has been pressuring countries with signifi­cant Sikh populations, such as Cana­da, Australia, and the UK, to address what it terms as “Sikh extremism.”

This has led to strains in diplomat­ic relations, with Canada receiving criticism from India for not doing enough to oppose the pro-Khalistan movement, despite Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s commit­ment to ending violence while re­sisting foreign interference. 

The row has provided Pakistan with a chance to prove its allega­tions against India. Pakistan already has been raising voice against Indi­an sponsored terrorism in various parts of the country. Western coun­tries believe the allegations are re­sult of the tensions between the two nuclear armed neighbours. The ten­sion with Canada however, proves why Pakistan has been speaking so much about the Indian hand in ter­rorism. This will also support Paki­stan’s evidence against India.

Foreign Secretary Syrus Qazi said Pakistan was not surprised aback by Canada’s allegations concerning the involvement of the Indian government in the murder of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia this year, which occurred in June.

He pointed out that Pakistan had previously arrested Kulbhushan Ya­dav, an Indian naval officer and op­erative of the Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), in Baloch­istan back in March 2016. According to Qazi, this situation highlights In­dia’s role in destabilizing Pakistan.

Foreign Office spokesperson Mum­taz Zahra Baloch also called India a global terrorist, actively involved in spooning terrorism. The issue has been raised by Pakistan at various fo­rums but more needs to be done to make Pakistan’s case strong. India has never let go such opportunities and Pakistan should be able to hit a home run with proper diplomatic efforts.

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