Ottawa: The expelled Indian diplomat, Pavan Kumar Rai, has been identified by the Canadian authorities as the head of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s foreign intelligence agency, in Canada.
Pavan Kumar Rai, a 1997 batch Indian Police Service officer, was posted to Ottawa as minister (eco, coordination, community affairs) in the Indian high commission. The confirmation of Pavan Kumar Rai, as RAW head, has been made by the office of Canada’s Foreign Minister, Melanie Joly.
Canada said that the RAW officer had links in the Assassination of a Sikh citizen and Khalistan leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
“Over the past number of weeks, Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the Government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar,” Trudeau told the House of Commons, adding that he raised the issue with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in “no uncertain terms”. He asserted that “any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty”.
Joly’s office while confirming Trudeau’s statement said that the expelled Indian diplomat is Pavan Kumar Rai, identified by them as the head of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s foreign intelligence agency, in Canada.
Meanwhile, India also expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a reciprocal move, and asked the diplomat to leave India within five days.
“The decision reflects Government of India’s growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.
Commenting on the development, the famous Indian web portal, The Wire said: “In an explosive statement that is sure to send Ottawa’s relations with Delhi nosediving but also hurt India’s international standing, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the Canadian parliament on Monday that his country’s security agencies had “credible” intelligence that the Indian government was behind the June 2023 murder of a pro-Khalistan leader in British Columbia, Hardeep Singh Nijjar”.