In a fresh development in the India-Canada debacle, a report by the New York Times has stated that the US had provided Canada with intelligence on the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil, but Ottawa intercepted communications that were more definitive and led it to accuse India of its involvement in the murder.
The report by the New York Times came as a top US diplomat in Canada confirmed there was "shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners", which prompted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make a stunning claim that there was a "potential link" between the Indian government agents and Nijjar's killing.
It is to be mentioned that the Five Eyes is an intelligence alliance which includes the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand, and Canada.
"In the aftermath of the killing, US intelligence agencies offered their Canadian counterparts context that helped Canada conclude that India had been involved," the NYT reported, quoting unnamed allied officials as saying.
However, the allied officials said they did not learn about the plot or any evidence pointing to India's involvement in the case until Nijjar was killed, the report stated.
Moreover, the US has called on India to cooperate with the Canadian government in its investigations into the killing of Nijjar, who was the chief of Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF).
Nijjar was shot dead by two unidentified men in Surrey in Canada's British Columbia province on June 18. Notably, India had designated Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020.
Yet what appears to be the “smoking gun,” intercepted communications of Indian diplomats in Canada indicating involvement in the plot, was gathered by Canadian officials, allied officials were quoted as saying.
After Nijjar’s death, American officials told their Canadian counterparts that Washington had not had any advance information about the plot. If US officials had any, they would have immediately informed Ottawa under the intelligence agencies’ “duty to warn” doctrine, according to two allied officials, the New York Times reported.
The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Canadian officials had offered a general warning to Nijjar, but had not told him that he was the target of an Indian government plot, the report said.
Earlier on Friday, Trudeau had said that Canada shared with India “many weeks ago” evidence on the killing of Nijjar and wanted New Delhi to work constructively with Ottawa to establish the facts in the "very serious matter".
However, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), said India did not receive any specific information from Canada in the matter.
"No specific information has been shared by Canada in this case, either then or before or after. We have, you know, as we have said, or I think we have made very clear, we are willing to look at any specific information," MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.