WASHINGTON: The Biden White House on Wednesday rejected reports that it rebuffed Canada in its ongoing spat with India on Ottawa’s charge that New Delhi was behind the the assassination of a Khalistani extremist, and it was “consulting closely” with its ally on the matter. “Reports that we rebuffed Canada in any way on this are flatly false. We are coordinating and consulting with Canada closely on this issue.This is a serious matter and we support Canada’s ongoing law enforcement efforts,”White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said.”We are also engaging the Indian government,” she added. Watson appeared to be referring to reports in the American media that Washington has distanced itself from Canada’s super-charged allegation about Indian involvement because of US concern that it would distract from efforts to woo New Delhi as a counterweight to China.Canadian officials too said Ottawa has been in close touch with Washington on the matter and it had kept US officials in the loop over the issue. Biden himself has not directly addressed the matter aside from a generic observation at a reception in UN on Tuesday that “we face a moment of great upheaval. A moment where basic principles like sovereignty, territorial integrity, universal human rights are being tested.””As the nature of the terrorist threats evolve and the geography expands to new places, we’re working with our partners to bring capabilities to bear to disrupt plotting, degrade networks, and protect all of our people,” he said earlier in his speech to the UN General Assembly.
Attention is now being drawn to provocative remarks in Canada by Khalistani activist Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, a US citizen, asking “Indo-Canadian Hindus” to go back to India while highlighting the allegiance to Canada of Khalistani Sikhs. In the ongoing imbroglio, the voice of moderate Sikhs, who constitute a majority in Canada, and who want no part of the Khalistan campaign, is not being heard, in part because a partisan media in Canada is mostly featuring separatists. “We are shocked that @CBCCanadawould air a segment that puts a target on the back of thousands of Hindu Canadians…Explicit targeting like this from NCCM/WSO (radical Sikh organisations) validates our concerns about the safety of the Canadian Indian and Hindu communities as anti-India groups exploit this moment to attack them,” the Hindu American Foundation said in a statement as the spat spilled over to the US.