Spying Claims and Assassination Allegations: India-Canada Relations Under Strain

Initial Tensions: Tensions between India and Canada escalated when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged Indian involvement in the assassination of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia in June.

Indian Rejection: India vehemently rejected these allegations as "absurd" and "motivated," leading to the expulsion of a senior Canadian diplomat.

US Involvement: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for Indian cooperation with Canada in the Nijjar case, further intensifying the diplomatic standoff.

Canadian Requests for Cooperation: Trudeau urged India to cooperate in the investigation, while India responded by reducing its diplomatic staff and suspending visa services for Canadians.

Spying Allegations Emerge: In September 2023, allegations emerged that Canada had spied on Indian diplomats within its borders, reportedly related to the Nijjar case.

Canadian Denial: Canada denied these spying allegations, claiming it does not surveil foreign diplomats accredited to the country.

Indian Response: India demanded an explanation from Canada and suspended visa services for Canadian citizens.

Expert Opinions: Experts debated the legitimacy of government surveillance on foreign diplomats, acknowledging that if true, these allegations could breach international law and diplomatic protocol.

Ongoing Investigation: The allegations of Canadian spying on Indian diplomats remain under investigation, with their veracity yet to be determined.

Impact on Relations: These allegations have already strained relations between Canada and India, while the Nijjar assassination accusation has sparked an international crisis and led to shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners. The US aims to stay neutral in the dispute to maintain its positive relationship with India.