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This is the first time that a member of the Five Eyes countries has expressed doubts about the allegations made by Canada.

New Zealand disputes Canada's claims | Tensions between India and Canada

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Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot and killed in the parking lot of the Sikh temple he led in Surrey, Greater Vancouver. (Archive photo)


New Zealand's foreign minister and deputy prime minister questions Canada's allegations that India sponsored the killing of a Sikh activist in Vancouver last June.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last September that he had credible intelligence on a link between India and the death of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Canadian security agencies are still investigating the killing.

However, New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, visiting India from March 10 to 13, seemed to doubt the evidence put forward by Canada in this matter.

As a lawyer by training, I look at this and I say to myself: “Where is the file? Where is the evidence? What is the conclusion, here and now?" Well, there isn't, he said in an interview with The Indian Express on Tuesday.

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New Zealand Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters (Photo archives)

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In a statement sent to Radio-Canada, a spokesperson for Minister Winston Peters tempered his comments. New Zealand's position on these allegations remains unchanged: if they prove true, it would be a serious concern. The minister reiterates that this is an ongoing criminal investigation and that it must take its course before clear conclusions can be drawn.

New Zealand, alongside Canada, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, is a member of the Five Eyes alliance, also known as the Group of Five. This network promotes exchanges between the intelligence services of these five countries since the Second World War.

To allege a link between the murder of Mr. Nijjar and India, Ottawa said it relied not only on sources on the ground but also on information from communications intercepted by the Five Eyes network.

This is the first time that a member of the Five Eyes countries has expressed doubts about the allegations made by Canada.

Reacting to Regarding Mr. Peters, a source at Global Affairs Canada insisted on Wednesday that several elements confirm the Canadian version, starting with the indictment made public by the American Department of Justice.

There have been contacts today with the New Zealanders about this, and if they need to know more, this situation can easily be resolved with a good briefing session.

A quote from A source at Global Affairs Canada

As a reminder, the United States Department of Justice released an indictment last December against Nikhil Gupta, an Indian national, for his alleged participation in a foiled plot to assassinate a Sikh activist in New York. /p>

The indictment revealed several pieces of information according to which assassinations were also planned on Canadian soil.

Relations between Canada and India have deteriorated considerably since comments made in September by Justin Trudeau. For example, Ottawa withdrew from negotiations for a free trade agreement with India.

For its part, the Indian government categorically denies the Canadian allegations. The Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains that Canada has a growing reputation as a haven for terrorists, extremists and organized crime.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi. (File photo)

Hardeep Singh Nijjar, president of a Sikh temple in Vancouver, campaigned for the creation of a state, Khalistan, which would include Punjab, a Sikh-majority region shared between India and Pakistan. He was considered a terrorist by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), an agency of the Indian government dedicated to combating terrorism.

In a new escalation of tensions between the two countries, India asked the YouTube platform to censor a CBC report on the murder of this Sikh activist.

CBC's The Fifth Estate has obtained security video that shows the killing of the Sikh separatist leader was a highly coordinated operation. /p>

YouTube said on Wednesday that it had accepted India's request and blocked the broadcast of this report in that country.

With information from The Indian Express

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