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Homechevron_rightWorldchevron_rightCanada pauses trade...

Canada pauses trade talks with India, focusing on Hardeep Singh Nijjar case

India Canada

Ottawa: During the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the United States, Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng addressed the status of trade talks between Canada and India, highlighting a current emphasis on investigating the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen.

Ng emphasised the importance of allowing the investigation into Nijjar's killing to progress before resuming trade discussions. She refrained from directly linking the paused trade talks to the Nijjar case but stressed the significance of the ongoing investigation due to a Canadian citizen being killed on home soil.

She also assured Canadian businesses operating in India of continued support while emphasising the investigation's priority for Canada at present.

While Ng's comments were cautious, Canada's ambassador to Japan, Ian McKay, was more direct, suggesting that pausing trade talks was wise while addressing the Nijjar case, reported Global News.

The Indian government has not yet responded to Ng's or McKay's statements.

The pause in trade talks was initially requested by Canada on September 2, which was before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested the involvement of Indian government agents in Nijjar's death. This occurred before Trudeau's visit to India, marked by discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding Khalistani attacks on Indian missions and subsequent expressions of concern by India about anti-India activities in Canada.

The breakdown in trade talks marks a setback to India's efforts to position itself as a supply-chain alternative to China, despite not being among Canada's top 20 trading partners. India had a trade surplus of $2.87 billion with Canada in 2022.

Efforts towards a trade deal between India and Canada began in March the previous year, with optimism expressed by both sides during Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal's visit to Ottawa in May.

The death of Nijjar, shot outside a gurdwara in Vancouver in June, significantly strained relations between India and Canada. India has dismissed the allegations linking its government to the incident as baseless and motivated.

Several countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, have urged India to cooperate with Canada on this matter. Trudeau emphasised the desire for constructive engagement with India while reiterating his claims and calling for cooperation between Ottawa and New Delhi.

India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar responded by stating India's openness to an investigation but stressed the necessity for evidence to substantiate the claims made by Canada.

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TAGS:KhalistanIndia Canada RelationsIndia Canada TradeIndia Canada Trade TalksNijjar Murder CaseKhalistani Elements in Canada
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