Canada probe to look into India’s role in influencing elections | India News – Times of India

Canada probe to look into India’s role in influencing elections | India News - Times of India



Canada’s Foreign Interference Commissionwhich was set up to probe China’s involvement in influencing the 2019 and 2021 Canadian federal elections, wants to investigate alleged Indian interference too. The commissioner of the inquiry that was initiated in September last year has now asked the Canadian government to provide documents related to the alleged interference by India.
The development comes at a time India-Canada ties have under severe strain because of allegations that India masterminded the killing of Sikh separatist Hardeep Nijjar in the Vancouver area last year.The diplomatic row ignited by Canada’s claims, which were not backed by any evidence as the Indian government has maintained, saw India expelling 41 Canadian diplomats, saying they were interfering in India’s internal affairs.
Canada created the Foreign Interference Commission to respond to concerns about foreign interference in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections.
“The Commission will also examine the flow of information within the federal government in relation to these issues, evaluate the actions taken in response, assess the federal government’s capacity to detect, deter, and counter foreign interference, and make recommendations on these issues. The Commission will complete an interim report due by May 3, 2024, and deliver its final report by December 31, 2024,” it said in a statement on Wednesday.
The Commission is also probing the alleged involvement of Russia and Iran. The polls saw the Liberals led by Justin Trudeau getting re-elected. China was alleged to have backed the Liberals against the Conservatives. The leader of the New Democratic Party, Jagmeet Singh, however, wanted the inquiry also to look into India’s role in influencing the outcomes of those elections. He had said that he had written to Trudeau asking him to include India in the list of countries whose roles were being probed.
The Commission is also expected to hold public hearings in the case soon. It has said it will undertake its work in two phases and that the first phase will focus on the interference that China, Russia and other foreign actors may have engaged in, and any impact it may have had on the 2019 and 2021 federal elections. The Commission will also examine and assess the “flow of information within the federal government” in relation to these issues, and evaluate the actions taken in response.
“In the second phase, the Commission will examine the capacity of federal departments, agencies, institutional structures, and governance processes to permit the Government of Canada to detect, deter and counter such interference,” it had said earlier.





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