What do world leaders do when faced with a critical issue that could have politically fatal consequences?
According to Indian journalist Maha Siddiqui, leaders look for diversion in such situations.
Maha Siddiqui said this in an article while analyzing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations that India was involved in the killing of pro-Khalistan Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
In the analysis, Georgetown University Public Policy and Government Department Professor R. Reference is made to an article entitled ‘The Politics of Blame Avoidance’ by Kent Weaver.
Economics becomes a major problem in bad times, says Weaver’s article. And then politicians find ways to blunt the effects of this problem in order to stay in power.
Over the past week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears to have used a universally tested political strategy of avoiding blame, the analysis said.
Trudeau visited New Delhi earlier this month (September 9-10) to attend the G20 summit. Trudeau has been under intense political pressure at home in the weeks leading up to his visit to New Delhi.
The country’s conservative politicians were attacking Prime Minister Trudeau fiercely about the affordability crisis and food price inflation in Canada. They kept him under pressure.
Trudeau wasn’t just struggling with food inflation. He faced many other problems including housing crisis.
Trudeau was preparing to face questions on these issues at a session of the House of Commons, the lower house of Canada’s parliament, in September. He also hinted at facing an internal challenge related to international affairs.
Trudeau met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to New Delhi. Regarding the meeting, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said Modi raised with Trudeau his grave concern about the anti-India activities of extremists (pro-Khalistan) in Canada.
Responding to Modi’s concerns, Trudeau said his country has a large number of Canadians of foreign origin. They have the right to express themselves. They have the right to make decisions, likes and dislikes without interference from outside countries.
An important word is used in Trudeau’s statement to India. The word is ‘Intervention’.
A week later, Trudeau brought up this ‘intervention’ again in a session of the House of Commons, the lower house of the Canadian Parliament.
On September 18, Trudeau alleged in Parliament that India was involved in the killing of Hardeep Singh. The involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is a violation of his country’s sovereignty.
The United States has expressed fears of possible Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election. Since then, Westerners have been openly using the word intervention in various contexts from time to time. The term has previously been used in Canada as well. But they use this term for China.
Now accusing India of ‘interference’, Trudeau linked New Delhi with Beijing. However, Trudeau did not present any evidence to Parliament to support his claims.
According to Indian journalist Maha Siddiqui, Trudeau could have proceeded as diplomatically as possible on the issue of Hardeep Singh’s murder. The matter could have been raised in a closed door meeting between the two countries and investigated.
Apart from that, as a politician, Trudeau could have raised such complaints outside the Parliament. But he chose his country’s parliament to complain.
The analysis says Trudeau may have made the complaint to Parliament for this reason, so that the issue overshadows everything else. He made the issue very serious by complaining to Parliament.
When a Prime Minister makes such a complaint in Parliament, he knows very well the consequences, the diplomatic response. Trudeau knows it too. Journalist Maha Siddiqui thinks that he has taken this risk knowingly and calculating.
Canada raised the complaint at a time when the US, Australia and the UK are increasing engagement with India in response to China. As a result, it has become uncomfortable for these countries to face any question about India.
In the past, these countries have accused countries like Russia and China of alleged interference. Because of this past position, no one now tries to refute Trudeau’s claim. Maha Siddiqui believes this situation has created a ‘safe zone’ for Trudeau.