Who is Pavan Kumar Rai, Indian diplomat expelled from Canada?


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Who is Pavan Kumar Rai, Indian diplomat expelled from Canada?

Senior Punjab cadre IPS officer Pavan Kumar Rai, the head of Indian intelligence in Canada, has been removed from his position after the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, alleged India’s involvement in the killing of Khalistani terrorist and Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

India has vehemently denied the accusations made by the Canadian government, terming them as “absurd”.

Pavan Kumar Rai, an IPS officer from the Punjab cadre of the 1997 batch, had been on a Central deputation since July 1, 2010.

In December 2018, he was appointed as Joint Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and also served as Director in the Cabinet Secretariat.

Before his central deputation, during his tenure in Punjab, Rai held the position of Superintendent of Police in CID Amritsar and was subsequently promoted to Senior Superintendent of Police in Jalandhar in July 2008.


On Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged India’s role behind the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on June 18. Consequently, Canada’s foreign minister, Melanie Joly, expelled “top Indian diplomat” Pavan Rai Kumar.

Notably, the Canadian police have not made any arrests in connection with the killing of the Khalistani terrorist Nijjar, who was shot dead by unidentified assailants in British Columbia.

The decision to expel the Indian diplomat seemed to have been made to take the Khalistani groups’ pressure off Justin Trudeau, according to a few Indians abroad. The Khalistani groups were reportedly annoyed with Justin Trudeau after he issued a statement against Khalistani extremists in India.

Pro-Khalistani groups have been targeting Indian Embassy officials in Ottawa,Toronto and Vancouver after Nijjar’s murder.

Khalistani leaders, through posters and banners, had openly threatened Indian diplomats, including Indian High commissioner Sanjay Kumar Verma, counsel General of India Apoorva Srivastava.

However, Canadian authorities are yet to take action against the Khalistani extremists and the vandalisation of temples.

“The act of expelling the Indian diplomat is nothing but an attempt to woo the Khalistani extremists who were annoyed with Justin Trudeau”, a Canada-based Indian told India Today.

During his visit to India for the G20 Summit, Trudeau had said, “actions of the few do not represent the entire community or Canada” while speaking about Khalistani extremism.


Meanwhile, the Indian government, in a statement issued on Tuesday, rejected the allegations made by the Canadian government.

“We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.

The MEA further said that the allegations of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are “absurd and motivated”.

The ministry said that similar allegations were made by the Canadian Prime Minister to our Prime Minister, and were completely rejected.

“We are a democratic polity with a strong commitment to rule of law. Such unsubstantiated allegations seek to shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The inaction of the Canadian Government on this matter has been a long-standing and continuing concern,” the MEA’s statement said .

The MEA said that Canadian political figures have openly expressed sympathy for such elements remains a matter of deep concern.

Published On:

Sep 20, 2023


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