Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference at the Canadian Permanent Mission, in New York (AP)
New York: Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday said his country stands by the international rules-based order and repeated his charge on India's role in the killing of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar stating that there are "credible reasons" to believe the same.
Addressing a press conference at Canada’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York on Thursday Trudeau said, "As I said on Monday, there are credible reasons to believe that agents of the Goverment of India were involved in the killing of a Canadian on Canadian soil. That is ...there is something of utmost foundational importance in a country's rule of law in a world where international rules-based order matters...we have rigorous and independent judges and robust processes.."
During the press conference, the Canadian Prime Minister took questions about Canada's tensions with India, after both countries took a series of diplomatic steps against each other.
Trudeau said, "We call upon the Government of India to take seriously this matter and to work with us to shed full transparency and ensure accountability and justice in this matter."
"We are a country of the rule of law. We are going to continue to do the work necessary to keep Canadians safe and to uphold our values and the international rules-based order. That's our focus right now," he said.
Trudeau further said in response to a query, "We are standing for the rule of law or highlighting how unacceptable it would be for any country to be involved in the killing of a citizen on its own soil."
"I think it is important that as a country with a strong, independent justice system ... we allow those justice processes to unfold themselves with the utmost integrity. but I assure this decision to share these allegations on the floor in the House of Commons on Monday morning was not made lightly and was done with utmost seriousness," Canada's PM said.
Trudeau also highlighted the conversation he had with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue. "I had a direct and frank conversation, with the Prime Minister (Modi), in which I shared my concerns in no uncertain terms...".
Earlier today the Indian External Affairs Ministry in its response to the allegations by Canada had said, "Yes these allegations were raised by Canadian PM Justin Trudeau with PM (Modi) and PM rejected them." The MEA said that allegations were raised by Trudeau when he was in India to attend the G20 Summit and that PM Modi had rejected them.
MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that Canada has not shared any specific information regarding the allegations and that India is asking Canada to take action against those facing charges related to terrorism.
"We are willing to look at any specific information that is provided to us, but so far we have received no specific information from Canada," Bagchi said on Thursday answering queries.
Notably, India's visa processing centre in Canada on Thursday suspended its services with immediate effect.
On Wednesday, Indian nationals and Indian students in Canada were advised to avoid traveling to regions and potential venues in Canada that have seen growing anti-India activities, according to a release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Indian students in Canada have been particularly advised to exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant.
Trudeau on Monday alleged that the Indian government was behind the fatal shooting of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Nijjar, who was a designated terrorist in India, was gunned down outside a Gurdwara, in a parking area in Canada's Surrey, British Columbia on June 18.
Trudeau during a debate in the Canadian Parliament, claimed his country's national security officials had reasons to believe that "agents of the Indian government" carried out the killing of the Canadian citizen, who also served as the president of Surrey's Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara.