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The Media Lens with Ibrahim Deen – Tensions Rise: India Expels Canadian Diplomat Amid Accusations of Sikh’s Killing Involvement

Annisa Essack | kzn@radioislam.org.za
20 September 2023 | 13:00 CAT

2 min read

The discussion focused on the expulsion of high-level diplomats between Canada and India, with the United States also getting involved. The tension arose from allegations that Indian security agencies were involved in assassinating a Sikh activist on Canadian soil.

The interview delved into the escalating diplomatic dispute between Canada and India. It all began when Canada expelled a high-level Indian diplomat, accusing Indian security agencies of orchestrating the assassination of a Sikh activist on Canadian territory. India quickly retaliated by expelling a Canadian official and vehemently denying the allegations. Surprisingly, the United States sided with Canada in this diplomatic standoff, further intensifying the situation.

To understand the roots of this conflict, it’s essential to consider the historical context, according to Ibrahim Deen. For years, India has faced a challenge with Sikh separatism, particularly in Punjab. The Sikh community, mainly concentrated in Punjab, has been a focal point for separatist sentiments. The Indian government has cracked down on these movements, leading to episodes of violence, including the infamous Amritsar Massacre in 1984.

Recent events have brought this issue to the forefront once again. Sikhs living abroad, especially in Canada and the United States, have supported the cause of Sikh separatism in India. Earlier this year, a prominent Sikh activist, Manjik Singh, was assassinated outside a Sikh temple in Canada. Canadian authorities alleged that Indian intelligence played a role in this assassination. This incident followed similar events, with Sikh separatists killed in the UK and Pakistan over the past year.

The expulsion of diplomats is a significant diplomatic move, signifying the gravity of the situation. Canada’s decision to expel an Indian diplomat suggests they had substantial evidence to support their allegations. India’s retaliation indicates its displeasure and firm denial of any involvement. The United States’ alignment with Canada underscores the seriousness of the matter.

The discussion also shed light on the Modi government’s approach to such issues. India’s actions, both domestically and internationally, have become increasingly assertive. The Modi administration has faced accusations of suppressing minorities, including Muslims and Sikhs, and clamping down on dissent.

The media coverage of this incident, both in Eastern and Western sources, has generally provided comprehensive information. However, there is a lack of context regarding India’s treatment of minorities and the connection between these alleged assassinations and separatism in Kashmir.

While international condemnation and pressure on India may exist, the broader global implications remain limited. India’s strategic importance in the geopolitics of Asia means that Western nations are unlikely to take significant punitive measures against India, especially in countering China’s influence.

The diplomatic tensions between Canada, India, and the United States underscore the complexity of international relations and the challenge of addressing historical conflicts and minority rights. The situation remains fluid, and the world will watch how these nations navigate this delicate diplomatic dispute.

Listen to the full interview on Sabahul Muslim with Sulaimaan Ravat and Ibrahim Deen here.

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