Investigation must run its course: New Zealand on Canada's India allegations

Investigation must run its course: New Zealand on Canada's India allegations

New Zealand's Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters emphasised the importance of allowing the ongoing investigation to unfold before definitive conclusions are drawn in the allegations made by the Canadian government against India concerning the killing of India designated terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

New Zealand a member of the Five-Eyes intelligence alliance maintains its stance that if the allegations are proven true, it would raise serious concerns.

John Tulloch, spokesperson for the Deputy PM, reiterated New Zealand's position, emphasizing the necessity for the investigation to reach its conclusion before making judgments.

"New Zealand's position on the allegations remains unchanged; if they are proven correct, then that would be of serious concern. The minister's point is that this is an ongoing criminal investigation. It needs to run its course before clear conclusions can be drawn," Tulloch told ANI.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau previously alleged a potential link between Nijjar's killing and Indian government agents, which India rejected as "absurd and motivated."

Nijjar, a designated terrorist in India, was shot and killed outside a Gurudwara in British Columbia on June 18 last year. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), however, has yet to name any suspects or make arrests in connection with the killing. Nijjar's death sparked a diplomatic row between India and Canada.

This led to the straining of diplomatic relations between India and Canada, raising concerns about the future of the bilateral partnership.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters completed a successful visit to India from March 10 to 13, saying it was an important step in taking the relationship between the two countries to the next level.

"New Zealand and India are two countries that can, should and will be doing more together," Peters said, adding, "My visit has demonstrated a joint commitment to investing more in building a broad-based, mutually beneficial relationship."

In New Delhi, Peters reconnected with his counterpart, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

"It is clear that New Zealand and India share common strategic perspectives about the security challenges our Indo-Pacific region faces, as well as a commitment to do more together to meet them," Peters also said.

"Minister Jaishankar and I agreed to work together to unlock more opportunities and achieve a step up in the relationship between New Zealand and India. Further high-level political visits in both directions during 2024 will be a crucial part of this process," he added.

Peters also visited the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar, Gujarat and met with representatives of the Jama Masjid Mosque in New Delhi.


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