Nijjar killing: Canada's Justin Trudeau slammed for ‘conspicuous silence’ on Karima Baloch's death
India-Canada News: Karima Baloch was found dead in Toronto, where she had been living in exile after being slapped with terrorism charges in Pakistan.
Amid the simmering tension between India and Canada following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegations that the Indian government could be behind the killing of Khalistan Tiger Force chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the Baloch Human Rights Council of Canada (BHRC) has questioned the “lack of action” in the kidnapping and alleged murder of exiled Baloch human rights activist Karima Baloch.
Baloch was found dead in 2020 in Toronto, Canada, where she had been living for five years in exile after being slapped with terrorism charges in Pakistan. Baloch, 37, from the restive region of Balochistan in western Pakistan, was a vocal critic of the Pakistani military and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
Accusing Trudeau of playing politics and ignoring the death of Baloch, the BHRC, in a letter to the Canadian PM, on Saturday pointed out that there had been “perceived inconsistencies” in his government’s response to the “mysterious death of Balochistan rights activist and protected individual, Karima Baloch, in December 2020, in Toronto”.
Claiming that there was a “stark contrast” with the Canadian government’s actions on the pro-Khalistan leader, the letter said that Trudeau’s “conspicuous silence regarding the high-profile, unexplained death of Karima Baloch stands in stark contrast to his impassioned speeches in the House of Commons and extensive media coverage concerning the shooting death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada”.
The BHRC also questioned the Canadian government’s consistency and fairness, particularly with regard to the handling of Balochistan’s alleged ongoing human rights violations by the Pakistan Army.
Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon official and senior fellow at American Enterprise Institute, has slammed Trudeau over the death of Baloch.
Participating in a panel discussion at the Hudson Institute think-tank recently, Rubin said what is striking about Trudeau's "shameless action and cynical action" is that while he's making a statement now, the killing of Karima Baloch that was carried out allegedly with Pakistani assistance is a police matter and has not been taken to the Prime Minister's Office.
Tensions flared between India and Canada early this week following Trudeau's explosive allegations of the "potential" involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Nijjar on his country's soil on June 18 in British Columbia.
India had designated Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020.
India has angrily rejected the allegations as "absurd" and "motivated" and expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move to Ottawa's expulsion of an Indian official over the case.
(With inputs from agencies)