Canada’s diplomatic blunder on September 22, when parliament gave two standing ovations to a Ukrainian Nazi veteran – “who fought for Ukrainian independence towards the Russians” – has did not overshadow the controversy simply 4 days earlier. Then Prime Minister Justin Trudeau informed parliament there have been “credible allegations of a attainable hyperlink” between Indian authorities brokers and the killing of a outstanding Sikh-Canadian activist 4 months in the past. These threats had been so credible that the FBI warned no less than three Americans lively within the Sikh neighborhood that their lives had been in peril within the quick aftermath of the killing in Canada.
“Any involvement by a international authorities within the homicide of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” Trudeau mentioned, referring to the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a pro-Khalistan separatist, who was discovered outdoors a jail shot. gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18. He additionally known as on the Indian authorities to cooperate with the Canadian investigation.
Canadian intelligence businesses have proof that Indian authorities brokers had been concerned within the homicide of Canadian Sikh chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
A Canadian was killed on Canadian soil – that is an assault on Canada’s sovereignty.
We. Ask. Justice. pic.twitter.com/gtBYNYZqU5
— Gurratan Singh (@GurratanSingh) September 19, 2023
The accusations had been met with robust phrases from New Delhi, which dismissed the assertion as “absurd and motivated.” As a substitute, India’s International Ministry shifted focus to Ottawa’s long-standing safety of “anti-Indian parts” working on Canadian soil: “Such baseless allegations search to divert consideration from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who’ve been given shelter in Canada and proceed to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Canadian authorities’s inaction on this situation is a long-standing and ongoing concern.”
The diplomatic fallout led to the expulsion of Pavan Kumar Rai, the top of Indian intelligence working in Canada. Indian authorities retaliated by ordering a senior Canadian diplomat to depart the nation.
Earlier than Trudeau’s feedback in parliament, he additionally raised the considerations of Canada’s influential Sikh neighborhood (the nation has the most important Sikh inhabitants outdoors India) to his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in New Delhi. Modi expressed his personal considerations over the “continued anti-India actions of extremist parts in Canada,” which promoted secessionism and incited violence.
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Khalistan is a proposed autonomous Sikh homeland centered on Indian Punjab, the place they’re the bulk. That is pushed by a motion of the identical title, which is banned in India however enjoys vital assist inside the Sikh diaspora and is reportedly funded by Pakistan’s Inter-Providers Intelligence (ISI) to “weaken the enemy” within the neighbourhood. Khalistani militancy peaked within the Nineteen Eighties with the Golden Temple bloodbath by the Indian Military in Amritsar, adopted by the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards and subsequent anti-Sikh riots.
But Nijjar’s homicide and claims of Indian involvement have uncovered India’s intelligence company, the Analysis and Evaluation Wing (RAW). Since its founding in 1968, the exterior spy company has largely targeted on efforts to counter and destabilize Pakistan, initially in response to threats from China.
Apparently, days earlier than the killing in Canada, Avtar Singh Khanda, “a self-styled head of the banned Khalistan Liberation Pressure (KLF)” died in a hospital within the British metropolis of Birmingham as a result of a cancer-related sickness. Though police haven’t thought of the loss of life suspicious, Khanda’s supporters declare he was poisoned. He’s believed to have “masterminded the March 19 violence on the Indian Excessive Fee in London and was additionally instrumental in knocking down the Indian flag flying outdoors the premises.”
Indian Ambassador to Britain Vikram Doraiswami was denied entry to Glasgow Gurdwara Albert. There’s an ongoing ban on Indian officers coming to their Gurdwara of their official capability.
Sikh males protest the killing of #HardeepSinghNijjar in Canada by India, confronted with… pic.twitter.com/fxH4QB71qH
— Murtaza Ali Shah (@MurtazaViews) September 30, 2023
The act was one in every of many amid a wave of pro-Khalistan protests in India’s Punjab and in diaspora communities within the west. Khanda’s motion led to the senior British diplomat being summoned to New Delhi “to convey India’s robust protest towards the actions of separatist and extremist parts towards the Indian Excessive Fee in London.”
The allegations of RAW’s involvement in Nijjar’s loss of life have sparked media debate in regards to the company’s rising similarity to the Mossad, Israel’s notorious intelligence company, particularly relating to its decades-old coverage of abroad assassinations.
Whereas India and Israel have lengthy loved a diplomatic partnership, their intelligence providers have additionally seen rising cooperation lately. Formally, India has no homicide coverage, however in 2014… The Hindu reported that Modi had instructed he would “authorize Indian intelligence providers to prepare cross-border assaults towards terrorists.”
Since then, this secret coverage seems to have been carried out quite a few occasions. Maybe the latest examples had been the alleged focused killings of “ISI belongings” Maulana Ziaur Rahman, a cleric with ties to the Pakistan-based, Kashmir-focused Lashkar-e-Taiba in Karachi final month; and Paramjit Singh Panjwar, the top of the Khalistan Commando Pressure in Lahore in Could.
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On the time of writing, it was additionally reported that Mufti Qaiser Farooq was shot by “unknown males” in Karachi. In line with Indian media, he was an affiliate of Lashkar-e-Taiba and an in depth affiliate of Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai terrorist assaults.
A current report from the Telegraph notes that some inside the Indian safety institution consider that “RAW ought to be capable of copy Israel’s Mossad and perform assassinations.” Dr. Walter Ladwig, an professional on South Asian safety at King’s School London, mentioned: “There has at all times been an undercurrent, or no less than one faculty of thought, that this needs to be the mannequin for Indian intelligence.”
Little doubt, India welcomes the uncooked comparability with the Mossad because it matures. India doesn’t have the teflon of worldwide criticism of Israel. They’ve so much in frequent, however India alone has all of Israel’s shortcomings and none of its strategic benefits.https://t.co/oSHQvgoSq6
— Mankamal Singh (@MankamalSingh) September 24, 2023
An article within the Time requested final month whether or not RAW is “the brand new Mossad” by “looking the nation’s enemies past its borders.” After the Lashkar-e-Taiba assaults in Mumbai, Indian intelligence “strengthened cooperation with Mossad to study the required expertise to hold out abroad assassinations.”
Indias First publishin the meantime, believes that we’re witnessing a extra assertive India in its strategy to nationwide safety: “The brand new ‘arduous state’ label is a byproduct of Nationwide Safety Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval’s ‘defensive protection’ doctrine, through which you Go and assault the place the place the transgression comes from.”
In line with the newspaper, since 2019 and particularly prior to now two years, “greater than a dozen avowed enemies of India have been killed of their protected havens abroad,” most of them in Pakistan.
The implications of RAW probably mimicking Mossad ways in international operations will not be restricted to worldwide diplomacy alone. They lengthen to the complicated and long-standing territorial dispute between India and Pakistan, particularly within the Kashmir area.
Since their inception as fashionable nation-states, Muslim-majority Kashmir has been a flashpoint for tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad. Indian-occupied Kashmir has witnessed an ongoing insurgency, with a number of militant teams in search of independence or merger with Pakistan. RAW’s actions, if aligned with these of Mossad, might have profound penalties for armed teams working within the area.
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Israel is infamous for committing assassinations on a neighborhood, regional and worldwide stage. At a neighborhood stage, resistance leaders are an apparent goal, whereas fundamental opponent Iran can be usually a goal. Simply final month, Mossad Director David Barnea threatened to assassinate Iranian leaders, stating that Israel’s response would attain all the way in which to “the best echelon” if Israelis and Jews had been harmed by covert Iranian actions.
In flip, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Hossein Salami, warned Barnea that his life could be “reduce off.” Salami added: “So I say to them: if earlier killings have made you safer, then transfer on.” This is a vital level, as a result of even the Israelis have acknowledged the strategic limitations of finishing up focused killings.
Parallels between RAW and Mossad may also be discovered within the area of sentimental energy. Lately, common tradition has performed a major position in shaping public notion of each intelligence providers. Streaming platform Netflix has witnessed a surge in content material dramatizing the murky world of espionage, with each Israeli and Indian intelligence businesses taking up the highlight from the CIA.
In an period when India is changing into more and more assertive when it comes to international coverage and its dedication to safeguarding nationwide safety, we are able to count on to see extra allegations towards RAW for its alleged involvement in covert operations, particularly in Pakistan, the place quick threats will be addressed discreetly with restricted penalties. from Islamabad and minimal worldwide media consideration.
Nonetheless, as India emerges as a rising financial and navy energy, the nation could also be inclined to undertake methods just like these of Russia and Israel. Whereas RAW’s strategy might have been influenced by the Mossad, New Delhi might also need to study from Israel’s expertise relating to the restrictions of such actions in delivering long-term strategic outcomes, particularly if underlying grievances and security-related challenges stay unresolved to remain.
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The views expressed on this article are the creator’s personal and don’t essentially mirror the editorial coverage of Center East Monitor.