India accuses Canada of being a “safe haven for terrorists” and suspends visas for Canadian citizens following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s claim that India may be behind the murder of a Sikh separatist activist. The Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, stated that Canada should be concerned about its international reputation due to its explosive allegations. Bagchi added that Canada is becoming known as a safe haven for terrorists, extremists, and organized crime. India suspended visa applications for Canadians over perceived threats to the security of diplomats in the country. India denies the allegations, calling them absurd and motivated, and claims that Canada has not provided any specific information to support the accusations. The Indian government has long accused Canada of inaction over Sikh separatist extremism, which aims to create Khalistan. Several Sikh organizations abroad argue that the Indian government falsely equates the movement with terrorism and vow to peacefully advocate for Khalistan while exposing human rights abuses faced by the Sikh community in India. The Khalistan movement dates back to the partition of India in 1947, and violent clashes have occurred between its followers and the Indian government. Although there is currently no insurgency in Punjab, sympathies for the Khalistan movement remain among Sikhs in the global diaspora, particularly in Canada, Britain, and Australia. The murder of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada has shocked and outraged the Sikh community, and Canadian police are still investigating the case.
India Calls Canada a ‘Safe Haven for Terrorists’ as Visa Dispute Escalates