One consequence of Justin Trudeau’s immaturity (produced by the compulsions of domestic political survival) is that Bharat has intensified its severe crackdown on Khalistani terrorists, wherever they might be,
Canada is a large country with a small population. To this day, ethnic gatekeeping in Canada precludes non-white immigrants from enjoying full benefits. It has huge aspirations but limited capability. It tries to punch above its weight. Canada’s shortcomings on the world stage are evident—a dependable Western acolyte, but not a global power with the decisive stuff—force, power and money, led by a fellow with limited intelligence. It was not invited to the first G-7 Summit in 1975 in France. Its then Prime Minister begged and cried, promising to do all the dirty work for America, and was admitted.
After India’s independence, Canada’s assistance programme grew substantially under the Colombo Plan with food aid, project financing and technical assistance for India’s nascent nuclear programme, but after India’s 1974 nuclear test, Canada suspended supply of fuel and technology.
In 1996, the then Canadian Prime Minister led a delegation of 300 businesspersons seeking deals after India’s economic opening up. It was a damp squib except for the establishment of a working group on counter-terrorism that Canada forgot all about. The business climate was vitiated by the 1995 SNC-Lavalin scandal, in which the Canadian consulting firm overcharged millions of dollars to renovate hydroelectric projects in Kerala.
22 years ago, September changed our world. In 2023, we have another cataclysmic event. A wannabe knight in shining armour on a white horse charged forward to defend the international rule of law. He turned out to be a wimp in a rusted mail coat on a mule. His 2018 official visit to Bharat when he tried to spin the charkha and dance the bhangra was an unmitigated disaster. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, has now made “credible allegations” (a new term) that agents of Bharat eliminated his beloved Khalistani terrorist-plumber, Shri Hardeep Nijjar, who had blood on his hands and was an illegal immigrant in Canada. His ill-advised action has unintended repercussions—thank you Robert Merton, your Law of Unintended Consequences has kicked in. The pathetic fellow has split his country down the middle, his domestic popularity has tanked.
Bharat is united as never before, and gets together as never before to blast the sad fellow. He has managed to polarize the world between the few who atavistically cling to a bygone era and the very many who want a brave new global order.
The world comes out in support of the country he tried to vilify. One of my African friends reminded me of the term we use in Swahili for such people: ujinga muzungu (crazy aimless wanderer).
Indian educational consultants are encouraging Indian students who contribute up to US$20 billion annually to Canadian universities to look elsewhere. Indian traders want to ban imports of lentils from Canada, the largest supplier to India. Bharat has suspended visas for Canadian citizens and asked Ottawa to right size its mission in New Delhi. I hear demands that Canadian citizens of Indian origin should be denied Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards, as is the case with Pakistanis and Bangladeshis—what would this mean for the Canadian Khalistanis?
Does this remind you of the action we took some years ago against American diplomats and their Embassy when an overzealous attorney in New York humiliated our Deputy Consul General?
One consequence of Justin Trudeau’s immaturity (produced by the compulsions of domestic political survival) is that Bharat has intensified its severe crackdown on Khalistani terrorists, wherever they might be, confiscating their assets, freezing their bank accounts, cancelling their OCI cards, and giving their names to the world. Some of the accounts were used to fund the Shaheen Bagh and farmers’ sit-ins. I recall seeing portacabins of the farmers that proudly displayed the names of their Canadian sponsors and Shri Trudeau made inflammatory statements without any understanding of the issues involved. His Pinocchio nose grows longer when he senses an opportunity to please his domestic constituency.
This is not the India that turns the other cheek. This is the Bharat of Subhas Bose and Narendra Modi and 140 crore proud Bharatiyas that smashes the teeth of those who try to humiliate her.
Justin has forced Canada’s so-called allies to choose between the past (the dying world order) and the future (the emerging non-lateral system). He has embarrassed his buddies. Trudeau is up the creek without a paddle. There are “credible reports”, Shri Trudeau, that Pakistan’s intelligence agency gave weapons training to your favourite plumber, but then eliminated him to poison your relations with India. You have fallen into the trap.
The Washington Post has published a story, based on the security cameras of the gurudwara outside which Nijjar was shot, with witnesses alleging that the Canadian Police carried out a perfunctory investigation into the murder, that was a coordinated operation involving at least six people in two cars. I urge everyone who can to read a seminal 2004 book by Stewart Bell called “Cold Terror, How Canada Nurtures and Exports Terror Around the World” that a Canadian ambassador and counter-terrorism coordinator called a devastating indictment of Canada’s failure to deal seriously with terrorists on our soil. It begins with a telling comment by a former head of the Canadian Intelligence and Security Services that there are more international terror groups active in Canada than in any other country in the world, with the possible exception of the United States.
The Globe and Mail wrote that Canadians would be madder than hell after they read how the Canadian government has allowed Sikh, Tamil and Islamic terrorists to come into our home and turn it into a safe house for international terror… the ticking Canadian terrorist time bomb (might) blow up closer to home.
The Christian Science Monitor said that Canada’s political leadership has a history of ineptitude, naivete, and outright irresponsibility with regard to international terrorism that stretches back to the 1980s. Israel has had to deal with Canadian terrorists, and so have India, France, Italy, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Egypt and Pakistan, and Canada’s closest partner, the United States. A former speaker of the US House of Representatives even claimed that the 9/11 terrorists entered the US from Canada. Over the years, Canada has been hosting some of the nastiest people in the world—LTTE Tamils from Sri Lanka, Iranian secret police agents, Chechens from Russia, Uyghurs from Xinjiang, Kurds from Turkey, Basques from Spain, etc.
Canada for years allowed the Tamil Tigers, the world’s leading suicide bombers, to operate freely and raise money that bankrolled terrorism and a brutal civil war in Sri Lanka, and now castigates Colombo for human rights violations. The Babbar Khalsa, a global terrorist organization, was registered as a tax-exempt charity in Canada, with tax benefits for shedding blood. Organized crime thrives in Canada, linked to narco-terror. I am interested in a recent statement by Canada’s Defence Minister, that if the “credible allegations” of India’s involvement in the killing are proven it will be a violation of Canada’s sovereignty. Is this a veiled threat that Canada might ask NATO to respond since an attack on one member is an attack on all? His ratings tanking, Justin Gaffemaster Trudeau made an impassioned speech in his Parliament (almost choking in the process) about staying with Ukraine for as long as it took to defeat Russia. It reminded me of a schoolboy declamation contest. Even the Ukrainian President looked amused like a comedian watching his rival perform. If this were not enough, the Gaffemaster recognized and initiated a standing ovation for a 98-year-old Second World War veteran in the visitors’ gallery, and hailed him as a Ukrainian hero and a Canadian hero. He turned out to be a hardcore Nazi, accused of crimes against humanity. A Jewish advocacy group asked for an apology to every Holocaust survivor. The Speaker of the Parliament resigned.
As of 2023, Canada’s official website lists two Sikh organizations as terror groups. The Association of Terrorist Plumbers of Canada (ATPOC) is not one of them.
Ambassador Dr Deepak Vohra is Special Advisor in Africa.