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Media Lens

Sameera Casmod |sameerac@radioislam.co.za
20 September 2023 | 08:57am SAST
1-min read

Photo Credit: WORDCRAFTWITHANNISA

During this week’s edition of Media Lens, Hafez Ibrahim Deen discussed an international diplomatic crisis that has brought Canada, India, and the United States into the spotlight. The interview touched upon a series of events that have raised concerns about alleged Indian involvement in the assassination of a Sikh activist on Canadian soil.

The diplomatic row began when Canada expelled a high-level Indian diplomat and accused Indian security agencies of orchestrating the assassination of Hardeep Singh, a Sikh activist, on Canadian soil.

In retaliation, India expelled a Canadian high-level diplomat and vehemently denied the allegations made by Canada. The Indian government described these accusations as absurd and baseless.

The United States sided with Canada, signalling its support for Canada’s claims.

To understand the underlying tensions, the historical context must be considered. The interview highlighted the turbulent period in India during the 1970s and 1980s when a Sikh separatist movement gained momentum in Punjab, predominantly a Sikh-majority region. The Indian government’s crackdown on this separatist movement, including the infamous Amritsar massacre in 1984, resulted in widespread violence and retaliation.

The interview also pointed out the significant Sikh diaspora, with around 3,5 million Sikhs living abroad, mainly in the US and Canada. Some within this diaspora support the idea of creating a separate Sikh homeland in India, which adds complexity to the situation.

Recent assassinations of Sikh separatists, including Hardeep Singh in Canada, have raised suspicion. Canada argued that Indian intelligence had a role in these killings, suggesting a pattern of targeting Sikh activists beyond Indian borders.

Hafez Deen noted that while media coverage has provided historical context, there is a lack of emphasis on broader issues. It highlighted the need to consider India’s treatment of minorities, the connection between these incidents and the Kashmir separatist movement, and India’s internal policies, including restrictions on democracy and human rights.

As the crisis unfolds, questions arise about the potential international ramifications. While India-Canada relations are likely to be strained, global geopolitical considerations, such as the Russia-Ukraine crisis and efforts to isolate China, may limit significant international action against India.

Listen to Media Lens on Sabaahul Muslim with Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat.

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