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New Zealand issues clarification over its Dy PM's 'Canada doesn't share evidence on Nijjar's killing' remarks

During his recent visit to India, New Zealand's Dy PM Peters spoke to a newspaper and underscored Canada, which is also a partner of "Five Eyes", did not share enough evidence to substantiate its claims against New Delhi.

Written By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Wellington Updated on: March 14, 2024 16:57 IST
External affairs minister S. Jaishankar with deputy prime minister and foreign minister of New Zeala
Image Source : @DRSJAISHANKAR/X External affairs minister S. Jaishankar with deputy prime minister and foreign minister of New Zealand Winston Peters during a meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Wellington: The row that erupted following the "baseless" allegations levelled by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on India has not halted even after the passage of six months since he claimed New Delhi was behind the killing of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Vancouver. Although the issue has been an ongoing tussle between the two nations, it was tossed high following the statement by New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peter, where he questioned the allegations levelled by his country's ally against India.

Canada did not share evidence to "Five Eyes": Peter

During his recent visit to India, Peters spoke to newspaper Indian Express and underscored Canada, which is also a partner of "Five Eyes", did not share enough evidence to substantiate its claims. “Well, I wasn’t here, it was handled by the previous government. But sometimes when you’re hearing Five Eyes information, you’re hearing it and saying nothing. You don’t know the value or the quality of it, but you’re pleased to have it. As a trained lawyer, I look okay, so where’s the case? Where’s the evidence? Where’s the finding right here, right now? Well, there isn’t one,” he told Indian Express.

It is worth mentioning that "The Five Eyes" is an Anglosphere intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These countries are parties to the multilateral UK-USA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence. 

New Zealand issues clarification 

Now, New Zealand's top ministers' statement triggered a controversy in Canada. Amid a fresh row, Wellington has issued a clarification. An official, who tried to defend New Zeland, said the ministers' remarks should not be taken otherwise till the investigation in the case concludes. 

“New Zealand’s position on the allegations remains unchanged – if they are proven correct, then that would be of serious concern,” John Tulloch, senior press secretary in Peters’s office, said in an e-mailed statement to The Globe and Mail. “The minister’s point is that this is an ongoing criminal investigation. It needs to run its course before clear conclusions can be drawn.” 

Hardeep Singh Nijjar row

It is worth mentioning Nijjar, an Indian-origin but Canadian citizen, was shot by unidentified men outside a gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18. Nearly three months after the killing, Trudeau abruptly appeared in the Canadian Parliament and alleged India's involvement in the killing of the Sikh separatist leader.

This triggered a massive uproar in India as well as Canada, especially in the diplomatic arena. At first, India halted visas for Canadians and later snatched the diplomatic immunity of at least 41 diplomats in New Delhi. This prompted Ottawa to call back their envoys from India.

Also Read: 'Where is evidence, where is the conclusion of the probe?', Indian envoy asks Canada over killing of Nijjar

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