PM Modi Re-Elected, Canada Wants To Engage On “Very Serious Issues”


New Delhi: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has expressed hope that with Prime Minister Narendra Modi back for a third term, talks with India can resume on “some very serious issues around national security and keeping Canadians safe and the rule of law” — issues that had caused friction between the two nations last year.

Mr Trudeau had voiced his expectation in an interview with CBC News today. “There’s alignment on a number of big issues that we need to work on, as democracies (and) as a global community,” he said.

“But now that he (Modi) is through his election, I think there is an opportunity for us to engage, including on some very serious issues around national security and keeping Canadians safe and the rule of law that we will be engaging,” he added.

India-Canada ties have been under strain since last year, after Mr Trudeau’s allegations about the “potential” involvement of Indian government agents in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, one of India’s most-wanted terrorists, who was also a Canadian citizen.

India has rejected the allegations as “absurd” and “motivated” and expressed concern about Canada becoming a hub of pro-Khalistan Sikhs — which Canada has so far not acknowledged.

Mr Trudeau’s comments came after PM Modi tweeted a photo of their meeting on the sidelines of the G7 meet in Italy.

Unlike the photos of his interactions with other leaders he tweeted — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni — the caption for the meeting with Mr Trudeau was just a one-liner.

The meeting was a sequel to the exchange of tweets between the two leaders after the results of the general election came out earlier this month.

“Congratulations to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his electoral victory. Canada stands ready to work with his government to advance the relationship between our nations’ peoples—anchored to human rights, diversity, and the rule of law,” Mr Trudeau’s post read.

In response, PM Modi posted, “Thank you @CanadianPM for the congratulatory message. India looks forward to working with Canada based on mutual understanding and respect for each others concerns”..

Mr Trudeau’s tweet came on June 6 – a day after a Canadian parliamentary committee designated India as the second-most significant threat to Canada’s democracy.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot outside a gurdwara in Surrey in June last year. The murder is being investigated by the Royal Canada Mounted Police and four persons have been arrested.__NDTV