Amid souring diplomatic relations between India and Canada over the killing of a Khalistani leader in June, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee chief Harjinder Singh Dhami Tuesday said the matter is “very serious” and will affect Sikhs across the world.
“In the murder case of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada, the expelling of a diplomatic officer of India by the Canadian government after allegations were levelled against him raises many questions.
“As a reaction to this, even though India rejected the allegations and expelled a Canadian diplomatic officer, this matter is very serious and directly related to the Sikhs which is going to affect the community members at the global level,” Dhami said.
Canada and India have expelled a senior diplomat each after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged the involvement of “agents of the Indian government” in the killing of Nijjar in Surrey in June, the claims outrightly rejected by New Delhi as “absurd” and “motivated”.
Dhami, the chief of the apex religious body of Sikhs, further said the governments of both the countries should bring the matter on the agenda of serious consideration instead of levelling accusations.
Dhami asserted that Sikhs are living across the globe, whose human rights as well as religious concerns are important. “The Sikh community has gone through many painful times,” said Dhami as he referred to some incidents, including the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
“Even today, the Sikhs living in many countries have been deprived of coming to their homeland and of paying obeisance at the sacred shrines of their Gurus (religious masters),” said Dhami in a statement here.
He said the Sikhs have always kept their presence and existence high in the country as well as in the whole world with their hardworking nature and intellectual strength, despite which the community has to always struggle for its rights.
“It is the responsibility of the government of the country to adopt a sincere approach regarding such matters related to the Sikhs of the country and abroad and not to allow an atmosphere of distrust among the community members,” Dhami stated.
“Seeing the existence of Sikhs in the whole world today, both Canada and India need to join hands, so that the truth can come out in case of accusations and the relations between the two countries also remain good,” he added.
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