Canadian professor Stephanie Carvin says, "India is important for western countries to compete with China, not Canada..." (File photo of Justin Trudeau)

New Delhi:

Recently, Canada claimed that there were intelligence inputs that Indian government agents could be involved in the murder of a pro-Khalistan Sikh leader, and such allegations usually lead to accusations against the accused country. This time, since the United States and other countries are looking at India as a counter to China, diplomatically Canada has lagged behind.

Stephanie Carvin, a professor of international relations at Carleton University in the Canadian city of Ottawa, said, "India is important for the West, not Canada, to compete with China."

In a phone interview, Professor Stephanie Carvin said, "In fact, Canada has lagged behind all other Western countries because of this..."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has only 40 million people, said on Monday that Canada was investigating "credible allegations" of possible involvement of Indian agents in the murder of its national Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June.

At the same time, Canada was also negotiating with important allies like the Five Eyes Intelligence Sharing Alliance on this issue. The Five Eyes Intelligence Sharing Alliance comprises the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand besides Canada.

But so far the results have not been fruitful in terms of Canada. Britain has rejected public criticism of India and said bilateral trade talks will continue. Even Secretary of State James Cleverly did not name India in his statement on this issue.

Kshitij Bajpai, who is an India expert at London-based Chatham House think tank, says the UK is going through a difficult situation as it is torn between supporting Canada and opposing India. Britain wants India as a trading partner and ally to help it compete with China.

"With no concrete evidence of Indian involvement, I think the UK's response is likely to remain silent," Bajpai said. He also said that if a free trade agreement is reached, it will be a "big political victory" for both India and the UK.