UK Stands Firm: Trade Talks with India Unaffected by Controversial Allegations

UK Stands Firm: Trade Talks with India Unaffected by Controversial Allegations

Britain will continue its trade talks with India despite allegations made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the Indian government was involved in the murder of a Sikh terrorist in Canada. The UK, as a member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance alongside Canada, the US, Australia, and New Zealand, has close ties with both countries, making this situation particularly delicate.

While the UK takes the allegations seriously, it will not allow them to derail the trade negotiations with India. A spokesperson for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak emphasized that these allegations should not be conflated with the trade deal being negotiated. The UK government is staying in close contact with Canadian authorities regarding the ongoing investigation into the allegations. Critics of the UK government's response argue that it is being cowardly and undermining its standing by prioritizing trade and strategic interests over human rights concerns.

Lord Singh of Wimbledon, a cross-bench peer, commended Trudeau for prioritizing the human rights of his country's citizens before trade. Meanwhile, Slough MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi called on the UK government to explain its knowledge on the matter, as Canada stated that it had been working with the Five Eyes alliance. These allegations have also revived calls for an investigation into the death of Avtar Singh Khanda, the head of the Khalistan Liberation Force, a secessionist militant outfit. Khanda died from terminal blood cancer three days before the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the Canadian citizen allegedly killed by Indian government agents. However, West Midlands police concluded that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Khanda's death.

Dabinderjit Singh, the principal adviser of the Sikh Federation (UK), criticized the UK government for appeasing India and urged it to focus on the alleged extreme ideology and terrorist actions of the Indian state instead of bringing up pro-Khalistan extremism, which he claimed does not exist. Despite the tensions caused by these allegations, the UK remains committed to pursuing a trade deal with India, which is considered one of the biggest prizes of Brexit. The UK government will continue to navigate this delicate situation while keeping the trade negotiations separate from other issues.

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