Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday that India’s ties with his country may have undergone “a tonal shift” after an Indian national was indicted in the United States for his alleged participation in a thwarted plot to assassinate a Sikh separatist leader, CBC News reported.

“I think there is a beginning of an understanding that they can’t bluster their way through this and there is an openness to collaborating in a way that perhaps they were less open before,” Trudeau said during his interview with the news broadcaster.

On September 18, Trudeau told the Canadian parliament that intelligence agencies were actively pursuing “credible allegations” tying agents of the Indian government to the death of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was killed by masked gunmen on June 18 near Vancouver.

New Delhi rejected Canada’s allegations as “absurd and motivated”, and said that they were an attempt by Ottawa to divert attention from the fact that it was providing shelter to those threatening India’s sovereignty. Following the accusations, New Delhi suspended visa services for Canadians but resumed some operations in October. India had also ordered Canada to withdraw over 40 diplomatic staff from the country.

Over two months after Trudeau’s claims, the United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York, also announced that it had filed “murder-for-hire charges” against an Indian national named Nikhil Gupta in connection with his alleged participation in a thwarted plot to assassinate Sikh separatist leader. Though the statement did not name the leader, a report in the Financial Times on November 23 identified him as Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

On Wednesday, Trudeau said the US indictment appears to have resulted in India softening its approach towards Canada. “There’s an understanding that maybe just churning out attacks against Canada isn’t going to make this problem go away.”

The Canadian prime minister added: “We don’t want to be in a situation of having a fight with India right now over this. We want to be working on that trade deal. We want to be advancing the Indo-Pacific strategy. But it is foundational for Canada to stand up for people’s rights, for people’s safety, and for the rule of law. And that’s what we’re going to do.”

Addressing the allegations by United States authorities, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an interview to the Financial Times published on Wednesday that his government was willing to consider evidence in the claims made by the US.

On November 29, India said it had constituted a high-level committee to examine the inputs related to the case from the United States.

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