A little over 50 per cent of Canadians want their country to decrease tensions with India over Khalistani hardliner Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s killing, and engage in diplomatic talks, according to a poll.
A Nanos Research poll commissioned by CTV News revealed that a substantial 57 per cent of Canadians would prefer the country decrease tensions and engage in diplomatic talks about the murder, which occurred outside a gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18.
The relations between the two nations soured after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India of playing a role in Nijjar’s killing last month, leading to expulsion of diplomats and New Delhi calling the charges “absurd”.
About one in four respondents said they want Canada to further investigate the accusations, and one in 10 (11 per cent) said they want Canada to “be patient” and do nothing for now.
Residents in Quebec province were more likely to say they want Canada to engage in tension-reducing measures (65 per cent) than in British Columbia, where 50.3 per cent chose diplomatic talks.
Three quarters of Canadians said they believe (47 per cent), or somewhat believe (27 per cent), Trudeau’s statement that he obtained intelligence that implicates India in Nijjar’s killing.
Nearly one in five said they do not (10 per cent) or somewhat do not believe (eight per cent) Prime Minister Trudeau, said the survey, which sampled 1,058 Canadians.
Seventy-nine per cent of respondents above 55 years of age were more likely to believe or somewhat believe Prime Minister Trudeau’s statement than younger Canadians (69 per cent) between 18-34 years age group.
A Financial Times report said that Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly held a secret meeting with Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar in Washington last month to solve the diplomatic row.
Joly on Wednesday said diplomacy is always better when conversations remain private, underscoring that she will continue to take the same approach when it comes to India.
Nijjar, chief of banned terror organisation Khalistan Tiger Force, was wanted in India for links to terrorist activities and spearheading the Khalistan referendum vote in Canada.
He was designated as a terrorist in 2020.