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U.S. assists Canada in verifying India’s role in Sikh leader’s murder

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Recent leaks indicate that the United States has contributed to Canada’s allegation that India is responsible for the assassination of a Canadian citizen, playing a crucial role in the simmering diplomatic tiff between New Delhi and Ottawa.

Canada-India ties recently sank to a deep freeze after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau repeatedly accused Indian agents of being behind the killing of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil, which was strongly rejected by the Indian side.

Both countries have started to expel each other’s diplomats and issued travel advisories urging their citizens to exercise “utmost caution” while traveling in the other country.

Canadian CTV News network on Sunday released an interview with U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Cohen, during which he explicitly stated, “There was shared intelligence among ‘Five Eyes’ partners that helped lead Canada to making the statements that the prime minister made.”

Citing “Western allied officials,” The New York Times, in its Saturday report, went one step further in specifying that “U.S. intelligence agencies offered their Canadian counterparts context that helped Canada conclude that India had been involved.”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday that he hopes India will work with the Canadians on this investigation and expects accountability from the Indian side.

Previously, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan also issued a stern warning, saying that the United States would not grant India any “special exemption” in this matter.

“There’s not some special exemption you get for actions like this. Regardless of the country … we will also consult closely with allies like Canada as they pursue their law enforcement and diplomatic process,” he said.

Indians have started to voice their dissatisfaction with the U.S. stance in the diplomatic spat. In a recent editorial, The Tribune, an Indian daily newspaper, inveighed against the United States, stating that “the U.S., that inveterate global policeman … has laid bare its bias and double standards by targeting India.”

“Does the U.S. have the moral authority to grant such an exemption, even if unsolicited, considering its own unenviable history of adventurism in foreign lands?” the editorial asked. “The answer is again an emphatic no.”

Analysts believe that the row will take a toll on the relationship between India and the United States.

The U.S. government “is in a no-win situation with this latest bombshell of India-Canada news,” Derek J. Grossman, a political analyst at the RAND Corporation, said on social media X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Canada’s bombshell accusation … against India could be (the) most significant test of strength of U.S.-India partnership since early 2000s,” he opined.

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