April 18, 2020 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: Yet another instance of Indian intelligence agencies’ attempt to use money and disinformation to influence Canadian politicians has come into light.
According to a document accessed by the Sikh Siyasat News (SSN), Canadian security officials suspected that India’s intelligence agencies- Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) had asked an Indian citizen, who is editor of an Indian newspaper, to sway Canadian politicians into supporting Indian government interests.
The operation, as revealed by the document, started in 2009 and continued till 2015 when the document in reference came into existence.
It all came into light in a recent court judgement in which the concerned Indian journalist is identified as “AB”.
Sikhs red flagged it: Indian Intelligence agencies Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) & Intelligence Bureau (IB) started covert operation in 2009 targeting White Canadian politicians to influence Indian government positions. Court document cites “AB” lobbyist. https://t.co/YYGLUqCJTk pic.twitter.com/4eIM0lFNVr
— Harinder Singh | ਹਰਿੰਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ (@1Force) April 17, 2020
The document- a court order, referred to summery notes by a Canadian visa officer, which reads: “On June 16, 2015, during your interview, you stated that you were approached by both the Indian Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in the mid-2000s but added that it was not until 2009 that both services requested your formal assistance”.
“You stated that you were tasked by RAW to covertly influence Canadian government representatives and agencies on behalf of the Indian government. You stated that RAW had also tasked you to meet with government officials in Belgium and Canada in an effort to influence their views in favor of the Indian government”, reads the quoted summery.
“You stated that you were told to identify random Caucasian politicians and attempt to direct them into supporting issues that impacted India. You stated that the guidance from RAW included that you were to provide financial assistance and propaganda material to the politicians in order to exert inﬂuence over them”, it reads further.
“As an example, you stated that you were tasked to convince politicians that funding from Canada was being sent to Pakistan to support terrorism. You stated that you met with your IB and RAW handlers outside of Canada at least once every two months, and that the last time you met with them was in May 2015 (i.e. about one month before the interview took place)”, the quoted summery reads further.
While refusing AB’s application the visa officer noted: “I find that there are reasonable grounds to believe that you were tasked by a foreign intelligence agency to covertly influence Canadian government representatives, including through guidance to provide ﬁnancial assistance to politicians in order to exert inﬂuence over them, and that you met with representatives of this foreign intelligence agency more than 25 times over a six-year period after you were tasked with such activities”.
The court, however, taking technicalities into account observed that “[t]he Officer’s dismissal of AB’s testimony in favour of the undated and unattributed interview summary was unreasonable”.
The court noted that “testimony could be rejected as inconsistent with the summary only to the extent that the summary was accepted as an unassailable and verbatim account of what AB said during his first interview”. The court noted that “there was nothing before the Officer to indicate how the summary came into being”. The court allowed the “application for judicial review” remitted the matter “to a different visa officer for redetermination”.
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