The controversial proposal brought by the MP may cause irreparable damage to India-Canada relations’

TORONTO: A controversial motion targeting India introduced by an Indian-Canadian MP from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ruling Liberal party has been criticized for potentially causing irreparable damage to relations between New Delhi and Ottawa.

The private member’s motion was moved on February 12 by Sukh Dhaliwal, MP from the riding of Surrey-Newton (as constituencies are called in Canada) in the province of British Columbia, and seconded by several others, including six other Indo-Canadian MPs. did. ,

The text of the motion states that it wants the House to recognize that there is “credible evidence of a connection between recent events, including the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, at a place of worship on Canadian soil by agents of the Government of India.” The allegations include examples of increasing forms of intimidation, threats and interference from India, China, Russia, Iran and other countries.

Nijjar was murdered in Surrey, British Columbia on June 18 last year. Nijjar, a key organizer of the separatist group Sikh for Justice (SFJ) in the province, was considered a terrorist in India, although those charges were not tested in a Canadian court. Trudeau said in the House on September 18 that there were “credible allegations” of a possible connection between Indian agents and the killing, despite the impact his assassination has had on bilateral relations.

“This proposal is a reprehensible attempt to target a particular country and the Hindu community using yet unproven and unverified allegations,” the board of directors of top community group Canada India Foundation (CIF) said in a letter to Dhaiwal. cover.”

“If this motion is passed, it would be another in a long list of provocations that will harm Canada-India relations. As an organization that is eager to resolve our bilateral issues, we are concerned that the disproportionate influence exercised by a violent minority is casting a shadow over our domestic politics and foreign policy,” CIF said.

Besides, Liberal Party MP Chandra Arya is also opposing the proposal. In a letter, he said, “If the motion is passed, despite no evidence being presented and proven in our judicial system, it starts a dangerous precedent where only charges are legalized by the Parliament of Canada.” “

The letter said, “If Prop. M-112 is passed, it will give rise to well-organized and well-funded anti-India and anti-Hindu groups in Canada and create a threat among Hindu-Canadians to fear for the safety of their families.” The fear will increase.” Added Arya, as he called on his fellow Liberal MPs not to support the motion.

Arya was attacked for that stance as, in a joint statement, British Columbia Gurdwara Council spokesperson Moninder Singh and Ontario Gurdwara Committee spokesperson Amarjeet Mann demanded his resignation. “We would like to remind Mr. Arya that he is an elected official for the Government of Canada and should behave accordingly rather than promote Indian interests within Canadian institutions,” the statement said.

Khalistan supporter Moninder Singh had recently said that he believed India or its actors were responsible for the firing at the residence of Khalistan supporter Simranjit Singh on February 1. However, police later said there was no evidence of foreign interference. In that case.

Dhaliwal is a seasoned politician and also a member of the Canada-China Legislative Association and three other MPs have also supported it. Apart from him, six other Indo-Canadian Liberal MPs have supported the proposal. All supporters except one MP from the Bloc Québécois are from the Liberal Party or the New Democratic Party (NDP).

“We have no quarrel with any legitimate investigation by our government and we will abide by its findings whenever it is published. However, using the yet-to-be proven allegation as a key point in Motion 112 is an attempt to create division and harm Canada’s bilateral interests with India,” the letter sent by CIF stressed. .