The State Department on Tuesday (October 2) said the United States respects the right to freedom of speech and assembly of individuals when asked about American factions of the Khalistani movement that has long frustrated India.
The Indian government has complained about Khalistani groups outside India, especially in Canada. The groups have kept alive the movement for Khalistan, or the demand for an independent Sikh state to be carved out of India, Reuters reported on October 4.
Prime Minister Trudeau flaunts the same argument. The US’ first reaction after Trudeau’s announcement in the Canadian Parliament on September 18 was that India should cooperate with Canada in the Hardeep Singh Nijjar murder investigation.
Interestingly, it was Cohen, the American Ambassador in Canada, who disclosed that the allegation was based on the finding of Five Eyes. Till then, Canada had no clue about the murder of Najjar.
Canada’s Inefficient Probe Agencies
The question is that Nijjar’s murder occurred four months ago. The Canadian government could not fix the responsibility of the murder these months, and nobody was arrested, even on suspicion, in the case.
Curiously, the Canadian government could not unravel the killing of Karima, the Baluch woman activist, or it did not want to investigate it. It raises a question mark on the professional efficiency of the investigating institution of Canada.
Simultaneous with the announcement in Parliament, Trudeau said that he had approached the European countries and the US to endorse his statement and condemn the killing. He meant the Five Eyes countries, of which Canada also is a member.
No condemnation came from any country, but the US foreign office said India should cooperate in the investigation. That was the repetition of Trudeau’s statement.
This simple statement speaks the mind of the United States’ policymakers. The voice of Frank Sullivan resonated in the utterances of Premier Trudeau.
This shows a close consultation between the concerned officials of the two countries had taken place, and the statements that emanated from their sources have had to be identical.
The US Could Have Intervened To Save Ties
The US is a good friend of India. This is something one can say with certainty after witnessing the warmth exuded by President Biden and PM Modi at the G-20 in New Delhi.
The US should have taken up the matter with the Indian foreign office and dissuaded Trudeau from going public until a way out was found without upsetting relations between India and Canada. That did not happen, and diplomatic decorum was not observed, perhaps deliberately.
Trudeau would not have ventured to make a public allegation against India, the world’s largest democracy. Canada is not an adversary in India’s reckoning. Canada cannot even be jealous of India, a rising power, because Canada is not a colonial power. Jealousy of rising India is exclusive to the superpowers who cannot escape the colonial and racist mentality.
We know that it is not only China that is upset by the rising India; the rightist superpowers are no less jealous. India was instrumental in getting the African Union admitted to the G-20. PM Modi had asserted that the future belonged to the Global South. To the imperialists and colonialists, these words are a red rag to the bull.
Modi’s language does not suit the US and its allies in Europe. It is different that in their strategy calculus, India is vital to checkmate China’s growing influence in the South Asian region.
Is US Serious About Ties With India?
Other stories also speak of something unsaid of the India-US relationship. The secret week-long visit of US Ambassador Blome in Pakistan to the strategic and sensitive region of Gilgit and Hunza speaks more than what it hides.
Last year, the same ambassador, while on a visit to Gilgit, had called it “Azad Kashmir,” which belied the oft-repeated assertion of the US that the Kashmir dispute needs to be resolved through a dialogue between the two contesting nations.
Equating a secret visit by an American diplomat to a disputed region for an undisclosed purpose with the G-20 Tourist Group visiting Srinagar for a purpose is a crude attempt to rationalize a shadowy move by the world’s most powerful democracy. That is what the American ambassador tried to do.
I think India does not mean to disagree with the US or any other democratic country in conceding to people the right to freedom of speech, including the Khalistanis, whether in the US, Canada, or the UK. Their human rights, free speech, and right to assembly cannot be denied or violated; if they gather in crowds and protest, it is within the accepted norms.
Is Freedom Of Speech A One-Way Street?
But India’s stand is somewhat different. India has the problem of dissident Sikhs committing crimes in India and then, with the help of fake travel documents, escaping to Canada, where they obtain a stay permit and feel safe to stay.
In Canada, they organize themselves in anti-India groups, vandalize Hindu worshipping places, threaten the Canadian Hindus, a communal-oriented crime, and intimidate the consular staff of Indian missions in Canada, with the Canadian government taking no action against them.
In this way, they demonstrate hatred and animosity against the Hindu community. Trudeau’s regime has taken no cognizance of notices sent to the Canadian government to protect his political interests.
If the constitution of Canada or the US gives them (Khalistanis) the right to freedom of speech and freedom of forming congregations, well and suitable. But which constitution gives them the right to threaten and intimidate the non-Sikh Indian population or Indian mission staff in Canada?
Or commit heinous crimes in India and then escape to Canada and join the anti-India brigades of Khalistanis in that or any other country, manipulate citizenship of that country, and continue with anti-India activities with impunity.
Does not the constitution of Canada or the US lay down how the state should deal with elements against whom dossiers of crimes are forwarded to the host country along with the copy of the Red Corner Notice from Interpol?
Yet the host country’s government takes no action. If there is no constitutional provision restricting the activities of criminals, it would mean that the host country compromises with international terrorism and, in this way, leaves the gateway open for the criminals and terrorists to find a haven in Canada.
The situation worsens when the terrorist groups are taken as a vote bank and considered immune to law-governed relations between the miscreants and society. It is a new and severe dimension of some countries soft-pedaling with international crime and terrorism. As such, India should raise the question at the United Nations, particularly the UN Security Council and other specific global fora.
The US rightly says the Khalistanis enjoy human rights and have the right to congregate, raise anti-India slogans, and denigrate Indian leadership in the most unbecoming and uncivil language. But the US also should tell us how it would deal with immigrants who are listed as terrorists with a history of dark deeds attached to their names in their countries of origin.
International Conspiracy To Derail India
An international conspiracy is hatched somewhere to derail the BJP in the 2024 general elections and thus manage the ouster of Modi as the Prime Minister. The gang of corrupt leadership has come together and claimed a share in the next government.
The national sensitivity has received a shock that in their bid to remove the nationalist government, they are moving around the globe to garner support for their nefarious mission. All that one can say is that the clock cannot be set back, come what may.