Last Updated: September 19, 2023, 23:44 IST
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s shocking allegations against India, termed “absurd” by New Delhi, have created tremors in international diplomatic circles. Trudeau has linked the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in his country this year with the “agents of the Government of India”. Some foreign affairs observers have been wondering whether Justin Trudeau is following in his father’s footsteps.
The man who plotted the horrific bombing in 1985 of an Air India plane off Ireland which killed 331 passengers, Talwinder Singh Parmar, was sheltered by Canada. Under Justin’s father, Pierre Trudeau, the Canadian government refused to extradite him to India on the specious plea that India, though a member of the Commonwealth, did not recognise the sovereignty of the Queen who was Canada’s sovereign.
Parmar was the founder, leader, and Jathedar of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), better known as Babbar Khalsa, a Sikh militant group involved in the Khalistan movement.
“It was Pierre Trudeau’s government which refused the 1982 Indian request to extradite Talwinder Parmar to India for murder, on the quaint grounds that India was insufficiently deferential to the Queen. That is not a joke. Canadian diplomats had to tell their Indian counterparts that the extradition protocols between Commonwealth countries would not apply because India only recognized Her Majesty as Head of the Commonwealth, and not as Head of State. Case closed!” wrote well-known Canadian journalist Terry Milewski in one of his books.
In 1981, Parmar was accused of killing 2 Punjab Police officers and was arrested in 1983 in Germany. He was released in 1984 after which he immediately returned to Canada. Eventually, Parmar sneaked into India from Pakistan but was shot dead by the Punjab Police. Khalistanis in Canada eulogised him while the authorities stood by. He was later named as the mastermind of the 1985 Air India bombing, Canada’s worst case of mass murder and the country’s worst terrorist attack in its history.
(With agency inputs)