Relations between Canada and India are trapped in a downward spiral following an explosive statement by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that alleged “potential” Indian involvement in the June killing near Vancouver of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a prominent Sikh leader in British Columbia.

Trudeau, who made the comment before the Canadian Parliament, should have let the police complete investigations, charge alleged killers, give evidence of official complicity and then request Indian assistance.

Instead, in effect, he told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we think you are guilty; help us prove it. The depth of Indian anger at the absurd charge is evident in Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi's describing of Canada as a “safe haven” for “terrorists, extremists and organized crime,” language normally reserved for Pakistan.