Australia is a part of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance with Canada as well as the Quad alliance with India.
New Delhi: Australia has described the findings as “concerning” and stated that it has brought up the matter with its “Indian counterparts” in response to the controversy over Canada’s allegations that Indian officials were involved in the execution of a Khalistani terrorist.
Australia is one of the four countries that make up the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, sometimes known as the Quad. Along with Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand, it is a member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance.
The execution of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June was allegedly carried out by “agents of the Government of India,” according to “credible allegations” made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday in a speech to the Canadian parliament. The following day, Mr. Trudeau declared that his goal was not to “provoke” India or “escalate” the situation but rather to encourage New Delhi to take the murder of Nijjar “utmost seriously.”
The claim was denied by the Indian government as “absurd and motivated”.
The Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong responded to a reporter’s inquiry regarding Mr. Trudeau’s assertion by saying, “Look, these are concerning reports. I note that investigations are still ongoing, but obviously these are concerning reports, and we are closely following these developments with our partners, and we’ll continue to do so… As you may anticipate, Australia has brought up these issues with its Indian counterparts.
Since Japan is a member of the Quad, Ms. Wong was asked if Australia intended to bring up the matter with Japan. While she couldn’t comment on what has been or will be brought up, she did note that Australia’s main stance is that it thinks the rule of law and the sovereignty of all nations should be respected.
The minister responded, “I think Australia is a robust democracy, and I think the Indian diaspora has a range of views, and you know, we have made clear in relation to democratic debate in Australia that the peaceful expression of different views is a key part of Australia’s democracy, and I think most Australians would agree with that.” When asked if she was concerned about foreign interference from India in Australia, the minister said, “I think the Indian diaspora has a range of views.”
Ms. Wong refused to provide details when pressed about how Canberra had communicated its concerns to New Delhi and the information, if any, that Canada had supplied. “Let me simply state that we have been closely following these developments with our partners and that we will keep doing so. I can also confirm that we have voiced our concerns to India. I won’t go into any further detail about that.
She also declined to say whether the matter had been discussed in private during the G20 Summit in New Delhi earlier this month.
Ms. Wong responded to a question about Sikh Indians being “at risk” in Australia by saying, “Well, I’d note that these allegations are still being investigated, so I would recognize that fact. But more broadly I would say this: we take the view as a government that Australian democracy is precious and that Australians of any persuasion have a right to peaceful protest as a matter of principle and as a matter of law.”
And we always express that right in both our public remarks and our private discussions with foreign countries. You would also be aware that as a Parliament, we have made very explicit declarations regarding the significance of Australian democracy being unaffected by external issues, both legislatively and as a matter of policy, she continued.
A top Indian diplomat who is allegedly in charge of running India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in the nation has been expelled by Canada. A top Canadian diplomat was ordered to leave India by India on Tuesday and within five days.
India’s External Affairs Ministry strongly refuted Mr. Trudeau’s accusations, saying, “Allegations of the Government of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are ridiculous and motivated. The Canadian Prime Minister leveled similar accusations against our Prime Minister, which he flatly denied.