New Delhi: On ‘Talking Point’, Seema Sirohi, Columnist with ‘The Economic Times‘ in Washington, D.C., and Author, ‘Friends with Benefits: The India-U.S. Story’ in conversation with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi on ‘Trudeau’s Hypocrisy, India’s Hardball: The Impact On The India-U.S. Strategic Partnership’.
Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ‘absurd and motivated’ allegations in Parliament on what he claims are ‘credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the Government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar'(designated a terrorist in India), and the subsequent nose-dive in relations are “entering the realm of the absurd”, Seema Sirohi says. Trudeau is largely driven by “domestic political reasons and his dependance on Jagmeet Singh’s pro-Khalistan movement, New Democratic Party”, she points out, adding “he is cutting more and more of a lonely figure”, as the “other shoe (pressure from the vast majority of a non-extremist Indian diaspora) is pinching him now”.
Talking about External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar’s visit to the U.S. and the statements by both sides, the Columnist and Author describes India as making itself “indispensable for the larger U.S. Indo-Pacific goals”, adding, despite the initial “boilerplate American statements“, “the flap with Canada is being compartmentalised from India-U.S. ties“. On western hypocrisy, Seema Sirohi says, “behind closed doors, India is also telling the Americans to do something about this diaspora politics, because it can come back to bite them. It’s not that they(terrorists) only order attacks in India. The extremists can create trouble for the United States as well, as they have for Canada”. On attacks on India consulates and threats to diplomats, she is categorical, the Khalistani diaspora extremism “is not a small matter. This problem has been ongoing for more than two decades. If an American or Canadian consulate is attacked, what would they demand of India?”