Washington, September 20
A US expert has termed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s claim of a “potential link” between Indian government agents and the killing of a Khalistani leader a “shameless and cynical action” and urged that the United States not be part of it.
Participating in a panel discussion at the Hudson Institute think-tank, Michael Rubin, Senior Fellow at American Enterprise Institute, claimed Trudeau is playing into the hands of people who are looking at the Khalistani movement as a movement of ego and profit.
Canada and India have expelled a senior diplomat each after Trudeau alleged the involvement of “agents of the Indian government” in the killing of prominent Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, 45, in Surrey in June, claims outright rejected by New Delhi as “absurd” and “motivated”.
Nijjar, the chief of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) and one of India’s most-wanted terrorists who carried a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head, was shot dead by two gunmen outside a gurdwara in Surrey in the western Canadian province of British Columbia on June 18.
What is striking about Trudeau’s “shameless action and cynical action” is that while he’s making a statement now, the killing of Karima Baluch that was carried out allegedly with Pakistani assistance is a police matter and has not been taken to the Prime Minister’s office, Rubin said.
“So, the question then becomes why the discrepancy if not populist political posturing? That might help Justin Trudeau in the long term but that’s not what leadership is. We really need our politicians on both sides of the aisle here and in Canada, (there is a) need to be much more responsible because they’re playing with fire,” he said.
It seems, Rubin said, that some outside hands are trying to revive the Khalistan movement.
“I don’t think it will work,” he said, adding he would not want the US to give legitimacy to this sort of “cynical manoeuvres by outside powers”.
“It would be a mistake to suddenly see a separatist movement and argue that this is legitimate. And I worry less so with the United States but more so with what we see in Canada right now with Justin Trudeau, that same knee-jerk reaction playing into the hands of people who are looking at the Khalistani movement as a movement for ego, a movement for profit and for politics,” he said.