India used money and disinformation to secretly influence Canadian politicians into supporting its interests overseas, including its covert spy operations against Pakistan, according a report published by the news arm of Canadian broadcaster Global Television Network.
Details of alleged Indian involvement were first revealed in a Canadian federal court, where Canadian authorities have accused the said editor – referred to as AB in the document seen by Global News – of espionage. The report claims that the accused Indian national allegedly met Indian intelligence officials more than two dozen times over a period of six years.
Among the allegations brought on against him by Canadian authorities, one of his assigned tasks was ‘to convince politicians that funding from Canada was being sent to Pakistan to support terrorism’. “You stated that you were tasked by RAW to covertly influence Canadian government representatives and agencies on behalf of the Indian government,” read a letter sent to him by an immigration official, seen by Global News. “You stated that you were told to identify random Caucasian politicians and attempt to direct them into supporting issues that impacted India,” the letter continued.
“You stated that the guidance from RAW included that you were to provide financial assistance and propaganda material to politicians in order to exert influence over them.”
Denying allegations that he was working for Indian intelligence to influence Canadian politicians, the accused claimed he only met the officials in his capacity as an editor, the report said. But according to court documents seen by Global News, the man did acknowledge that he was asked by Indian intelligence agencies to ‘perform various functions’ as an ‘unofficial lobbyist or diplomat’ even as he claimed he had refused to work for them.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair’s office refused to comment on the matter when approached by the publication, but said the government was ‘concerned when any country shows destabilising behaviour, including interference in other countries’ democratic systems’.