The Intelligence-sharing network called Five Eyes, that includes the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, is a feature of international geopolitics that not many are aware of.
Back on Monday (18), when Trudeau said that Ottawa ‘had credible intelligence linking Indian agents to the murder of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar’, that meant not only Canadian-generated intel, but also information provided by the international partners, notably the US.
Trudeau: “We call upon the government of India to take seriously this matter and to work with us to shed full transparency and ensure accountability and justice in this matter.”
“U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Cohen confirmed that ‘shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners’ had informed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of the possible involvement of Indian agents in the murder of a Canadian citizen in June, CTV News reported.
[…] ‘I will say this was a matter of shared intelligence information. There was a lot of communication between Canada and the United States about this, and I think that’s as far as I’m comfortable going’, Cohen told CTV News in an interview to be aired on Sunday.”
Canadians gathered intelligence from human and electronic sources in a months-long investigation, which was supplemented with the aid of the partners.
“The U.S. made clear on Friday that it expected the Indian government to work with Canada on efforts to investigate the possible involvement of New Delhi agents in Nijjar’s murder.
‘We are deeply concerned about the allegations that Prime Minister Trudeau has raised’, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters in a press briefing. ‘It would be important that India work with the Canadians on this investigation. We want to see accountability’.”
The row between Canada and India over the Nijjar murder has ignited political friction among Sikhs and Hindus in the diaspora.
After Trudeau’s public accusation of India, a clip surfaced on social media showing the head of a US-based Sikh separatist group calling for Hindu Canadians to return to India.
“‘Indo-Canadian Hindus, you have repudiated your allegiance to Canada and the Canadian constitution’, said Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, head of Sikhs for Justice, in a video that was reportedly filmed on 12 September. ‘Your destination is India. Leave Canada. Go to India’, he said.”
The exchange shows apparent divisions within the Indian community. But some say that’s an exaggeration.
“Indo-Canadians who spoke to the BBC said that while their community was taken aback by Canada’s allegations, they have not experienced threats to their safety or heightened tensions day-to-day.”
Canada has a large Indo-Canadian population of 1.86M residents of Indian descent, with diverse religious and socio-economic backgrounds.
“India suspended visa applications in Canada on Thursday due to unspecified security threats, while demanding Ottawa reduce its diplomatic staffing in India on grounds of interference in domestic affairs in an escalation of the festering diplomatic crisis between the two countries.
[…] ‘The issue is not about travel to India — those who have valid visas and other kinds of document like OCI are free to travel to India — but the issue is of incitement of violence and the creation of an environment that disrupt the functioning of our high commission and consulates’, Arindam Bagchi, the official spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, said at a regular news conference in New Delhi on Thursday.”
Right now, Canada halted trade talks with India ahead of the recent Group of 20 nations leaders’ summit in New Delhi. India denies any part in the murder, and called Ottawa to stop harboring Sikh terrorists and separatists.
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