Admitting for the first time, a top United States diplomat has confirmed that there was “shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners” that had prompted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s administration to initiate action against Khalistan separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
This revelation, which came during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, has underlined the crucial role played by international intelligence cooperation in tackling threats to national security globally.
"There was indeed shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners that led Canada to take action against Mr. Nijjar," said Marc Knapper, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
For the uninitiated, the Five Eyes is an intelligence alliance comprising the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The collaboration aims to share intelligence and collaborate on signals intelligence (SIGINT) operations.
Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a resident of Surrey, British Columbia, was red-flagged by Indian authorities as a 'designated terrorist' under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in 2020. He is accused of planning and running a terror camp in Mission, British Columbia, aimed at conducting strikes in Punjab.
The latest revelations by the US diplomat have brought into focus the importance of international cooperation in combating terrorism, in particular, the role of intelligence-sharing networks like the Five Eyes.
India has been pushing for a global compact against terrorism, highlighting the need for stronger international cooperation. The information and subsequent action against Nijjar indeed demonstrate the effectiveness of such cooperation.
However, experts emphasize the need for India to strengthen its own intelligence networks and capabilities to effectively counter threats.
"While international cooperation is crucial, India must also invest in its own intelligence capabilities to ensure national security," said Dr. Ajay Sahni, Executive Director of the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi.
As the world continues to grapple with the challenges of terrorism, the case of Nijjar underscores the importance of international cooperation and intelligence sharing. It also serves as a reminder of the critical role these factors play in maintaining global peace and security.