NEW DELHI: For the first time since the India-Canada row erupted over the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the US has officially confirmed there was “shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners” that informed Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau‘s public allegations of a potential link between the Indian government and Nijjar’s murder in June this year.
United States Ambassador to Canada David Cohen told CTV News, a Canadian news network, during an interview that “there was shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners that helped lead Canada to making the statements that the PM [Trudeau] made”.

Cohen, however, did not comment on whether the intelligence informing the Canadian government’s investigation was both human and surveillance-based, or whether it included signals intelligence of Indian diplomats.

“This was a matter of shared intelligence information,” he said, adding: “There was a lot of communication between Canada and the US about this, and I think that’s as far as I’m comfortable going.”
Earlier this week, Trudeau had told reporters that officials had been working closely with intelligence agencies since the summer to “make sure that we had solid grounding in understanding what was going on.”
The members of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance – comprising US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada – have called the accusations serious, although they were also reported to have rejected Canada’s request to jointly denounce the murder.

The US has said it is deeply concerned over Trudeau’s claim about India’s role and that it was critical that perpetrators of the murder were brought to justice. The UK too described the allegations as serious.
Australia’s foreign ministry went a step further and said it had conveyed its concerns on the developments to India at “senior levels”.
In the Canadian Parliament, Trudeau had said that any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of Canada’s sovereignty. He also described the alleged killing as contrary to the fundamental rules “by which free, open, and democratic societies conduct themselves”.
“If the allegations prove to be true, it is a potentially very serious breach of the rules-based international order in which we like to function,” Cohen added.

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