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India suspends visa services for citizens of Canada and tells it to cut its diplomats

by Joshua Brown
3 comments
Diplomatic Tensions

India has taken significant diplomatic actions in response to recent tensions with Canada. The rift between these two key strategic partners in security and trade escalated after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made allegations of Indian involvement in the assassination of a Sikh separatist leader, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, on Canadian soil. This development has strained the relationship, which has been under stress due to Canada’s perceived support for Sikh separatists.

One of the major steps India has taken is the suspension of all visa services for Canadian citizens, effective from September 21, 2023. This suspension includes e-visas and visas issued in third countries. The reason cited for this suspension is the security threats faced by India’s High Commission and consulates in Canada, which have disrupted their normal functioning. Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi emphasized that this suspension is temporary and will be reviewed regularly.

Additionally, India has called for a reduction in the number of Canadian diplomats in India, asserting that Canadian staffing in India exceeds India’s staffing in Canada. The Indian government has urged for parity in strength and rank equivalence in mutual diplomatic presence. This move is seen as a response to Canada’s expulsion of an Indian diplomat in the aftermath of Trudeau’s allegations.

On the other hand, the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi has confirmed that its consulates in India remain open and are serving clients. However, it mentioned that some of its diplomats received threats on social media, prompting a review of its staff complement in India. Canada expects India to provide security for its diplomats and consular officers working in India.

It’s important to note that Canada has not yet provided concrete evidence of Indian involvement in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India has expressed its willingness to consider any specific information shared by Canada on this matter. Nevertheless, India has accused Canada of providing a safe haven for terrorists and not taking action on specific evidence of criminal activities by individuals on its soil.

The backdrop of this tension includes longstanding concerns from India about Sikh separatist groups in Canada, particularly those advocating for Khalistan, an independent Sikh homeland. While the active insurgency in India ended decades ago, the Indian government has raised alarms about attempts by Sikh separatists to make a resurgence. The Indian-Canadian relationship has faced strains due to these concerns, although both countries maintain strong defense and trade ties, as well as shared strategic interests.

In conclusion, the suspension of visa services and the call for a reduction in diplomatic staffing are India’s responses to escalating tensions with Canada. These actions reflect the seriousness of the diplomatic rift, which has its roots in allegations of Indian involvement in the assassination of a Sikh separatist leader on Canadian soil. The situation continues to evolve, and both countries are closely monitoring developments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Diplomatic Tensions

What led to the suspension of visa services for Canadians by India?

India suspended visa services for Canadians in response to allegations made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who suggested Indian involvement in the assassination of a Sikh separatist leader on Canadian soil.

How long will the suspension of visa services for Canadians last?

The suspension is temporary, and its duration is unclear. Indian authorities have stated that they will review the situation regularly.

Why did India call for a reduction in Canadian diplomatic staffing?

India called for a reduction in Canadian diplomatic staffing in India, arguing that Canadian diplomats outnumber India’s staff in Canada. They have requested parity in strength and rank equivalence in mutual diplomatic presence.

What has been the response from Canada regarding this diplomatic tension?

The Canadian High Commission in New Delhi has confirmed that its consulates in India remain open, but some diplomats received threats on social media, leading to a review of staffing. Canada expects India to provide security for its diplomats in India.

Has Canada provided evidence of Indian involvement in the assassination?

As of now, Canada has not provided concrete evidence of Indian involvement in the killing of the Sikh separatist leader, Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India has expressed its willingness to consider any specific information shared by Canada on this matter.

What is the background of tensions between India and Canada over Sikh separatist groups?

India has long expressed concerns about Sikh separatist groups in Canada, particularly those advocating for Khalistan, an independent Sikh homeland. This issue has strained the Indian-Canadian relationship, although both countries maintain strong defense and trade ties and share strategic interests.

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3 comments

EconPoliticAnalyst September 22, 2023 - 2:26 am

canaduh got to chill, seriously. india says no more visas!

Reply
AutoMarketGuru September 22, 2023 - 3:46 am

whoa, diplomatic probs over a killing, no good!

Reply
JournoExpert123 September 22, 2023 - 8:20 am

india suspending visas for canadians? wow, big tension here!

Reply

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