Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary, Syrus Qazi, has addressed the recent allegations made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, stating that Pakistan was not surprised by Canada’s revelations regarding Indian involvement in the killing of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia in June this year. Mr. Qazi made these remarks during a media briefing at the Pakistan mission in the United Nations on Wednesday.
According to Mr. Qazi, the accusations of India’s involvement in Canada did not come as a shock to Pakistan. He cited the arrest of Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Yadav in Balochistan in March 2016 as an example of India’s alleged covert activities. Yadav, who was later sentenced to death, was found guilty of espionage and terror activities aimed at destabilizing Pakistan.
Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau had recently revealed in an emergency session of the assembly that Canadian security agencies had been actively investigating credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the Indian government and the killing of Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Mr. Trudeau referred to this as an “extremely serious matter.”
In response, Mr. Qazi stated, “What happened in Canada did not surprise us,” implying that Pakistan had long-standing concerns about India’s alleged interference in other countries’ affairs. He suggested that there might be truth to the allegations made by the Canadian Prime Minister.
Mr. Qazi also drew attention to the situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and accused New Delhi of committing state terrorism in the region.
The allegations made by Canada prompted reactions from Pakistan’s political leaders as well. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), called on the international community to acknowledge India as a “rogue, Hindutva, and terrorist state” in light of Canada’s claims.
Regarding Pakistan’s current diplomatic efforts, Mr. Qazi noted that caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar was on a five-day visit to the United States to attend the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly. He assured that during the visit, all important issues, including the Kashmir dispute, would be discussed.
Mr. Kakar attended the reception and opening session of the UN General Assembly in New York and held a meeting with the Iranian president in a friendly atmosphere. Pakistan’s foreign minister also conducted significant sideline meetings during the visit.
Pakistan has responded to Canada’s allegations of Indian involvement in the Sikh leader’s killing by expressing its lack of surprise and pointing to its own experiences with alleged Indian interference. The situation continues to be a topic of international concern and discussion during the ongoing UN General Assembly session.