Everything that’s gone wrong between India and Canada since Nijjar’s death

NEW DELHI | Updated: 26 October, 2023 4:45 pm IST
Relations between Canadian PM Trudeau and Indian PM Modi are at an all time low owing to the accusations that are being flinged across the board

NEW DELHI: On Thursday, the Indian High Commission in Ottawa announced that India will be resuming its visa services from October 26, for specific categories for Canadian nationals travelling to the country.

The High Commission issued a press release stating that they will be resuming specific visa services, specifically for Canadians looking for an entry visa, business visa, medical visa, and conference visa. These services will be provided at the consulate offices in Toronto and Vancouver.

These developments have come at a time when Indo-Canadian tensions have flared up to amazing degrees, with the Indian government aiming multiple diplomatic attacks at the Canadian government for having accused the former of killing pro-Khalistan separatist, Hardeep Singh Nijjar. The entirety of the geo-political deadlock transpired in a way that has stumped the entirety of the global political landscape.

Indian Government Ousts 41 Canadian Diplomats

To put matters into perspective, the Indian government had earlier demanded, on October 20, that the Canadian government withdraw 41 diplomats from the country owing to concerns raised in lieu of international ‘parity laws’. This had essentially been brought about by India’s concerns about adhering to international laws that illustrate the presence of a similar diplomatic presence of a particular country in another country’s embassy.

According to the MEA, the ministry had been in touch with the Canadian government to ensure that parity is reached between the two parties, owing to “constant interference” by the Canadian diplomats in India’s internal affairs. Facts illustrate that the Indian government only has two Consulate Generals and one High Commission office in Canada, while the Canadians have Consulate Generals in Chandigarh, Chennai, and Mumbai and a Consulate in Bangalore, while the High Commission is in New Delhi.

Canada Calls The Act “Unreasonable” And A Violation Of Vienna Convention

Following the ouster, Canada’s Foreign Minister, Melanie Joly, had said that the action by the Indian government was “unreasonable and unprecedented and clearly violated the Vienna Convention” while addressing a press conference. According to Reuters, Joly had said, “Given the implications of India’s actions on the safety of our diplomats, we have facilitated their safe departure from India. If we allow the norm of diplomatic immunity to be broken, no diplomats anywhere on the planet would be safe. So for this reason, we will not reciprocate.”

Presently, 21 Canadian diplomats and their families are present in India, including at the High Commission. The Indian ministry has, however, refuted all claims of violation of the Vienna Convention.

Canada’s Accusations Against India

Earlier, Canadian authorities had accused the Indian government of facilitating and masterminding the death of Nijjar, on September 18. Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, had said in the House of Commons, “Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the Government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar.”

How Did Nijjar Die

Nijjar had been shot and killed in Surrey, British Columbia, outside of the gurudwara where he was the president. He had been cornered by two black sedans, which were being chauffeured by four masked men, according to witnesses. Two of them had pursued him before catching up and shooting the secessionist point blank.

Trudeau had said that he had received intelligence incriminating the Indian government following a tip-off received by American authorities as a part of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance. However, EAM Dr S Jaishankar was quick to refute these allegations, stating that the evidence of any Indian interference had not been shared with them.

MEA’s Suspension Of Visa Services And Issuance Of A Travel Advisory For Indians

Following these claims, the MEA issued a travel advisory for Indians going to Canada, as well as for Indian nationals staying there. The advisory said, “In view of growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada, all Indian nationals there and those contemplating travel are urged to exercise utmost caution.”

Following this, on September 21, visa services had also been cancelled by the MEA temporarily and have been only lifted (to an extent) now.

Presently, New Zealand has become the newest addition to the list of the Five Eyes members who have condemned India’s act of removing the diplomatic immunities of the 41 Canadian officials.

ALSO READ: Canada withdraws 41 diplomats from India; calls expulsion unreasonable

Also Read Story

Kerala gears up for major shift in IT hiring process

Sankalp Patra : PM Modi Vows to Empower Youth, Women, Poor, and Farmers

Iran seizes cargo ship ‘MSC Aries’ with 17 Indian nationals onboard

BJP Unveils ‘Modi Ki Guarantee’ for 2024 Elections: Promises 6G, Free Ration for poor