At UN, India avoids reference to row with Canada over Sikh leader’s killing

UNITED NATIONS   -   With India on back foot following Canada’s allegations about its involvement in the killing of a Sikh leader, Indi­an External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar Tuesday urged UN member states not allow “political convenience” to de­termine responses to terror­ism, extremism and violence. But Jaishankar made no di­rect reference to the diplo­matic standoff with Canada in his speech to the 78th ses­sion of UN General Assembly as he tried to shift the focus to India’s achievements, in­cluding chairing of the Group of 20 industrialized nations, its leadership role in interna­tional affairs as also the moon landing. “When we aspire to be a leading power, this is not for self-aggrandizement, but to take on greater responsi­bility and make more contri­butions,” he said. “The goals we have set for ourselves will make us different from all those whose rise preceded ours.” On Sept 18, Canada said on Monday that it was “active­ly pursuing credible allega­tions” linking Indian govern­ment agents to the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in Brit­ish Columbia in June, dealing a further blow to diplomatic ties between the countries. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in an emergency statement to the House of Commons that any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen was “an un­acceptable violation of our sovereignty”. Hardeep Singh Nijjar, 45, was shot dead out­side a Sikh temple on June 18 in Surrey, a Vancouver suburb with a large Sikh population. Nijjar supported a Sikh home­land in the form of an inde­pendent Khalistani state and was designated by India as a “terrorist” in July 2020.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt