Earlier today, India suspended visa services in Canada, potentially impacting thousands who are seeking to travel to India.
New Delhi is located in India.
Today, the government announced that it has requested Canada to downsize its diplomatic presence in India. The government cited the “interference of Canadian diplomats in Indian affairs” as the reason for this request. The diplomatic row over the killing of a Khalistani terrorist has escalated sharply.
Hours after India suspended visa services in Canada, potentially impacting thousands seeking to travel to India.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told reporters that Canada has a larger diplomatic presence in India than what India has and, as a result, it needs to be downsized.
We have notified the Canadian government about the need for parity in diplomatic presence. They have much higher numbers than us in Canada… “I assume there will be a reduction,” he said.
The spokesperson stated, “Our internal affairs are affected by Canadian diplomatic interference.”
The foreign ministry cited “security threats” that “disrupted” the work of their officials as the reason for India suspending visa applications in Canada. The spokesperson said that the security environment prevented mission personnel from carrying out visa functions.
Mr. Bagchi said, “We have temporarily stopped visa services due to the security situation in Canada and the inaction of the Canadian government.”
The foreign ministry suspended visas a day after expressing concern for the safety of its citizens in Canada due to “politically condoned hate crimes and criminal violence.”
The foreign ministry said that threats have particularly targeted Indian diplomats and sections of the Indian community who oppose the anti-India agenda.
Earlier, the High Commission of Canada had announced that it would “adjust” the number of diplomats in India due to “threats on various social media” against their staff.
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We are taking action to ensure the safety of our diplomats in light of the current environment where tensions have heightened. “We have decided to temporarily adjust staff presence in India as a result and out of an abundance of caution,” the statement said.
Justin Trudeau alleged that Indian agents played a role in the murder of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar near Vancouver in June, causing India-Canada ties to hit a new low. India has labelled the allegation as “absurd and motivated”.
Masked gunmen killed Najjar outside a Gurdwara in Surrey on June 18. India firmly rejected Mr Trudeau’s allegations, stating that he provided no evidence.
Mr Bagchi said, “We are willing to look at any specific information provided to us, but Canada has not provided any specific information so far.” He added that the inaction of Canada was a huge concern.
We have shared specific evidence about criminal activities by individuals based on Canadian soil with Canada, but they have not acted upon it…Yes, there is prejudice here. They have alleged and acted upon them. He added, “We perceive these allegations by the government of Canada as primarily politically driven.”
Tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions followed Mr. Trudeau’s explosive charge. Canada has also suspended talks on a trade deal with India.
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