India is facing an unprecedented diplomatic crisis over allegations made by Canada linking the government to the killing of Canadian Sikh pro-Khalistan militant Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil. The Western media is being merciless in its surmises and conjectures and is already comparing India with countries that have “carried out assassinations on foreign soil”, naming Russia and Saudi Arabia. The US’ targeted killings of “terrorists” is, however, rarely being mentioned. The duplicity is ironical, but not unexpected. For India, the emerging Anglophone solidarity may be turning out to be a bigger challenge than it expected.

According to reports in international media, not only Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau but also US President Joe Biden and some others from the “five eyes” intelligence sharing network countries, which also includes the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, may have spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the recent G20 Summit on Canada’s findings on Nijjar’s killings.

New Delhi, therefore, can’t afford to make an imprudent move.

Denying the allegations and accusing Canada of inaction against those engaging in anti-India activities was certainly the right thing to do. But suspending issuance of visas may prove to be counter productive, as many Indians, studying or having families in Canada, stand to suffer if Canada reciprocates.

Even if Trudeau’s unsubstantiated allegations are aimed at appeasing his vote bank, India can’t afford to lose its cool. Canada has not only been an important economic partner for long but is also close to other Western powers India looks upon as its allies.

New Delhi may have lost a chance to defuse tensions with Canada at the G20 Summit. Exploring the possibility of talks with Canada with the help of a third country like US can be explored.