Different countries spy on each other. Western countries are at the forefront in this matter. In fact they keep an eye on even their closest ociates.
Canada blaming Indian agencies for the July 18 killing of pro-Khalistan activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar is an extraordinary development between the democracies of the two countries. It is being said that a line was crossed by India, but then Canada also violated the decorum. It is not a huge rocket science that different countries spy on each other. Western countries are at the forefront in this matter. In fact they keep an eye on even their closest ociates. But there is some fine line which all countries respect. It is based entirely on clear understanding. Speaking on the floor of the Canadian Parliament, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accusing India of murder clearly demonstrates its seriousness. It would be a big mistake for New Delhi to take this matter lightly. In the current situation both sides have now crossed a line. As expected, the expulsion of diplomats between the two countries has now been announced, and relations have clearly become strained.
Diplomatic challenges for New Delhi
India has been accused of murder by a fellow democracy and Commonwealth member. A country that is a founding member of NATO and the Five Eyes intelligence club. Remember that Canada has filed sovereignty violation charges against India. If the entire incident continues unchecked, the consequences could indeed be diplomatically catastrophic. In such a situation the question arises whether the allegations are true? If yes, it would be a big blow to the Indian spy department. In recent months, some Khalistani terrorists have been killed in Canada and Pakistan, both countries blamed RAW for this. Interestingly, the killings never took place after June 19. At this time, the tenure of the then RAW director Samant Goyal ended. There were speculations that Goyal’s tenure would be extended for a year and when this did not happen, some people linked it to the incidents happening in Canada and Pakistan. RAW reports directly to the Prime Minister and the National Security Advisor. Apart from these, there is no interference of any ministry in his work. Security officials told Bhaskar that Nijjar was a big name for Khalistani organizations.
Punjab has to deal with big problems
Punjab in 2023 faces more important issues than can be imagined by awakening the ghosts of the 1980s. Pro-Khalistan activists may gather in thousands in London or Toronto, but they cannot rekindle the fire of those terrible decades in Punjab, because the Khalsa has moved on. They will not allow that ghost to return and destroy Punjab further. Any harm to a pro-Khalistan leader in British Columbia is an insult to the Khalsa in Punjab, as it is believed that at times far away a shrill scream will reach the ears of a loyalist in the pind (village). India’s prejudices of the 1980s are back once again, but now the eager audience is carrying smartphones. What Khalsa sees is a conspiracy of loyalists, eager to unleash a separatist insurgency where none exists, by praising large-scale mob lynching and cow vigilantes. Thus, digital patriotism spends more energy trashing Canada than sympathizing with the soldier killed in Manipur.
Has Canada crossed its limits?
Canada has crossed a line in excluding opinions, something that cannot be done in a democracy. There is greater awareness and sensitivity towards such matters where the rule of law is upheld. But Indians are definitely more vulnerable than Canadian spies. It was an early morning in November 1979 in Islamabad when a student mob, fueled by rumors, attacked the United States Emby there. They were angered by Iranian reports of the capture of Mecca by American troops. Fake news then did its work without digital transparency. The mob burnt the emby. Repeated pleas to Pakistani authorities for help did not elicit a prompt response, and two Americans and two local personnel were killed in the process. But before being burned, many clified papers were easily looted by the mob, including one containing the identity of a notable Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) field agent, a US Special Forces officer. The fire was now engulfing West Asia as much as South Asia, and a few years later, on April 18, 1983, a suicide bomber destroyed the US Emby in Beirut, killing 63 people, including 17 Americans. Hezbollah blew up a US Marine Corps barracks on 23 October 1983.