Issue of Killing of Sikh Activists Raised in Meeting of US and Indian Foreign Ministers

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 28: (L-R) Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken deliver brief remarks to the press before meeting at the U.S. State Department September 28, 2023 in Washington, DC. In addition to meeting with Blinken, Jaishankar will also meet with White House officials, business leaders, and representatives from think tanks during his trip to the U.S. Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

The issue of the murder of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar was raised in a meeting of Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyan Jaishankar with two United States officials , including Foreign Minister Antony Blinken.

Jaishankar met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan about India’s concerns with Canada surrounding Nijjar’s death.

“The Canadian Prime Minister initially made some accusations privately and publicly. And our response to them, both privately and the public, is that what he is accused of is not in line with our policy,” said Jaishankar, quoting from the Anadolu Agency website , Saturday, September 30 2023.

He instead accused Canada of harboring “terrorists, extremists and people who openly advocate violence.”

“So, most of our tensions with Canada, which predate what Mr. (Canadian Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau said, actually arise from that. Right now, I’m actually in a situation where it’s not safe for my diplomats to go to the embassy, ​​or to the consulate in Canada,” Jaishankar said.

“They were intimidated in public. And this actually forced me to temporarily suspend visa operations in Canada,” he added.

Death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar

Last week, PM Trudeau accused the Indian government of being involved in the shooting that killed Hardeep Singh Nijjar in front of a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia on June 18. He said there were “credible allegations” surrounding New Delhi’s connection to Nijjar’s death.

The US Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained the results of the meeting between Jaishankar, Blinken and Sullivan. It said the three “discussed a range of issues, including key outcomes from India’s G20 presidency, and the establishment of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor and its potential to deliver transparent, sustainable and high-standard infrastructure investment.”

The reading of the meeting results did not mention that the issue of Nijjar’s death was discussed.

When asked about the issue in a press conference with Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena, US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Mexican Economy Minister Raquel Buenrostro last Friday, Blinken said: “Those responsible must be held accountable, and we hope that our friends in Canada and India will work together to resolve this issue.”

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