US officials raised allegations by Canada that link India to the killing of a Canadian Sikh activist, during a meeting with New Delhi’s foreign minister in Washington, the Indian top diplomat said Friday.
“They obviously shared US views and assessment on this whole situation,” External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar told a panel at the Hudson Institute about the meeting Thursday.
Jaishankar said he explained during meetings with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and White House National Security advisor Jake Sullivan about the concerns India has regarding Canada.
“The Canadian prime minister made some allegations initially privately and publicly. And our response to him, both in private and public were that what he was alleging was not consistent with our policy,” he said.
He accused Canada of harboring “terrorists, extremists, people who openly advocate violence.”
“So, a lot of our tensions with Canada, which well preceded what Mr. (Canadian Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau said, actually come out of that. Today, I'm actually in a situation where my diplomats are unsafe going to the embassy, or to the consulate in Canada,” India’s foreign minister said.
“They are publicly intimidated. And that has actually compelled me to temporarily suspend even visa operations in Canada,” he added.
Trudeau on Sept. 18 accused the Indian government of the shooting death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia, saying that there are “credible allegations.”
Nijjar was shot to death June 18 in front of a Sikh temple in Surrey.
The State Department said in a readout of the meeting between Jaishankar, Blinken and Sullivan that they "discussed a full range of issues, including key outcomes of India’s G20 presidency, and the creation of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor and its potential to generate transparent, sustainable, and high-standard infrastructure investments."
The readout did not mention that the killing was raised.
Asked about the issue during a news conference with Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alicia Bárcena, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Mexican Secretary of Economy Raquel Buenrostro, on Friday, Blinken said: “Those responsible need to be held accountable, and we hope that our friends in Canada and India will work together to resolve this matter."