Canada wants to engage constructively and seriously with India, says Justin Trudeau amid ongoing row over Khalistani leader Nijjar’s killing

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has said his nation is still committed to building a closer relationship with India despite repeating that there are “credible allegations” that the Indian government was involved in the killing of Khalistani separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia last June.

Justin Trudeau says Canada is very serious about building closer ties with India. Photo Courtesy: PIB

Trudeau's allegation on the death of Nijjar- who was a designated terrorist in India- has triggered a row between New Delhi and Ottawa.

Speaking at a press conference in Montreal, Trudeau was quoted as saying by the National Post that he thinks it is “extremely important” that Canada and its allies continue to engage “constructively and seriously” with India, given its growing importance on the world stage.

“India is a growing economic power and important geopolitical player. And as we presented with our Indo-Pacific strategy, just last year, we’re very serious about building closer ties with India,” he told reporters.

“At the same time, obviously, as a rule of law country, we need to emphasise that India needs to work with Canada to ensure that we get the full facts of this matter.

“The Americans have been with us in speaking to the Indian government about how important it is that they be involved in following up on the credible allegations that agents of the Indian government killed a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil,” Trudeau added.

He made the remarks at a time when Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the neighbouring country.

"Good to be back here. And we, of course, had the prime minister here this summer. Thanks to the US for all the support to the G20 Summit," S Jaishankar told the media in the presence of Blinken ahead of the meeting held at the State Department.

Blinken said he had "very good discussions" over the last few weeks, including the one at the G20 and on the margins of the UN General Assembly session in New York.

He said he was looking forward to his discussions with the Indian counterpart.

Jaishankar's meeting with Blinken was scheduled much before the crisis with Canada broke out.

According to reports, the US has been urging India to cooperate in the Canadian investigation into the Nijjar's death.

Meanwhile, India has rejected the allegations calling them "absurd" and "motivated".