Canadian Senate Speaker to Miss New Delhi G20 Event Amid Sikh Separatist Killing Controversy

Canada’s Senate speaker, Raymonde Gagne, will not be attending the two-day G20 event in New Delhi this week, as ties between Canada and India remain strained due to Canada’s investigation into allegations linking Indian agents to the killing of a Sikh separatist leader.

Indian media reported that Canada would be represented by the Senate speaker, as indicated by India’s lower house speaker.

The two-day parliamentary speakers’ summit, part of India’s year-long presidency of the G20 major economies, begins on Friday. However, Gagne’s absence was noted, and Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi stated, “We invite all members for G20 events. Participation is their decision and subject to a number of factors.” He also mentioned the need to confirm whether anyone from Canada would be attending the event, as the Canadian Senate did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

Tensions between India and Canada escalated when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly voiced suspicions last month that Indian agents might have been involved in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on June 18 in a Vancouver suburb. India swiftly dismissed the allegation as absurd, leading to the expulsion of diplomats from both countries. In response, India suspended the issuance of new visas for Canadians and requested Ottawa to reduce its diplomatic presence in India.

Arindam Bagchi affirmed that India is in communication with Canada at various levels and remains committed to ensuring diplomatic parity between the two nations.

Sohaib Rehman

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