India faces a huge blow from another ally over Sikh leader killing
Australia's domestic spy chief has voiced support for Canada in a matter involving the Indian government's alleged involvement in the killing of a Canadian citizen. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had previously stated in parliament that there were "credible allegations" of a potential link between Indian government agents and the shooting of Canadian Sikh Hardeep Singh Nijjar, whom India identifies as a terrorist.
Mike Burgess, the director general of the Australia Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), was asked about his assessment of Canada's claims and responded that he saw "no reason to dispute what the Canadian government has said in this matter."
India had dismissed these allegations as biased and motivated, emphasizing that Canada had not taken Indian concerns about the activities of pro-Khalistani groups seriously. Tensions escalated as Canada withdrew 41 diplomats from India, leading to reciprocal actions by India, including expelling a senior Canadian diplomat and suspending visa operations for Canadian nationals. India also called on Canada to downsize its diplomatic missions.
The U.S. ambassador to Canada, David Cohen, explicitly linked Canada's accusations to the Five Eyes intelligence network, a partnership involving the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
He noted that shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners had contributed to Canada's statements. The United States had repeatedly urged India to cooperate with Canadian investigations. Australia's involvement in the Five Eyes network underscores its alignment with the intelligence-sharing alliance.