Wading into the fierce diplomatic standoff between India and Canada, triggered by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegation of Indian agents being behind the killing of a pro-Khalistan leader on his home soil, Canadian journalist Terry Milewski on Tuesday said he hoped that more “evidence” will come to the surface in the form of “leaks, or announcements or private briefings”. Speaking to ANI on Tuesday, Milewski said the allegation “better be good” as if it isn’t, it will turn into a “bigger embarrassment for Prime Minister Trudeau”.
He said the “Indians were not going to sit quietly” unless the Canadian government presented “evidence” to back its claim of New Delhi’s involvement in the killing of the wanted Khalistani leader. “So I think that over time, either through a procedure of leaks or some sort of announcement or some nice little off-the-record private briefing for chosen reporters, that in one way or the other, it’s going to get out what the government is talking about…I can tell you that it better be good.
Because if it’s not, this is just going to blossom into an even bigger embarrassment for Prime Minister Trudeau,” Milewski added. Milewski is a former senior correspondent for Canada-based CBC television news. The Canadian journalist said there has been a persistent rumour within the Khalistan community in Canada that this (killing of Hardeep Nijjar) was not some local gangland killing. “The problem is that for the Canadians there has been a persistent but unconformable rumour…within the Khalistan community in Canada, which is large and very active, that this was not some local gangland killing, as it first appeared. Rather, it was a state-sponsored assassination by the Indian government,” he said.
Milewski added while the local Khalistan sympathisers have not been able to produce a shred of evidence linking India to the killing, it hasn’t stopped them from “making such accusations loudly”. “They prepared posters which they put up at parades and demonstrations at Indian missions in Canada, the consulate in Toronto, in Vancouver and the High Commission in Ottawa.
These posters described Indian diplomats as killers and basically painted targets on the backs of these diplomats,” he added. Milewski noted that Trudeau merely said Canada has “credible allegations”. He added that while the Canadian PM did not produce any evidence to back his allegation, it did not stop his government from expelling a senior Indian diplomat. “I’ve got a surprise for you…now we do have evidence,” the journalist claimed while not saying what it was.
“He merely said that we have credible allegations, in his words, for a potential link between this murder and agents of the Indian government. He hasn’t proved it. He’s merely made the allegation. But that hasn’t stopped him from acting on it by booting out a senior Indian diplomat. And in return, the Indians have done the same. But I don’t think that’ll end it,” he added. On no evidence yet to back the explosive claim, Milewski said the pressure is going to build on Trudeau in the coming days. “It’s a reasonable question that can he do this without revealing his evidence.
I don’t think he can because I think that what’s going to happen tomorrow and the next day and the day after is that the pressure is going to mount. Why do you say these allegations are credible and what is the potential link that you’re alleging? Because without that, it’s just not going to fly,” he added. India, on Tuesday, rejected the allegations by the Canadian PM that Indian agents were behind the fatal shooting of Khalistan Tiger Force chief and a wanted terrorist in India, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, in Canada. Moreover, India expelled a senior Canadian diplomat to India in a reciprocal move to Canada expelling a senior Indian diplomat.
The move comes after India rejected as “absurd and motivated” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s charge that India played a role in the June killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. “We have seen and rejected the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister,” the MEA said in an official statement on Tuesday.