HomeCurrent affairsCanada Shifts Diplomats from India to Southeast Asia Amid Diplomatic Row

Canada Shifts Diplomats from India to Southeast Asia Amid Diplomatic Row

New Delhi, India – In the midst of a brewing diplomatic dispute between India and Canada, Canadian diplomats stationed in India have been relocated to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, according to reports from Canadian media outlet CTV News. This move comes in response to India’s call for a reduction in the number of Canadian diplomats posted in the country.

The diplomatic tension between the two nations was ignited when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly accused India of involvement in the murder of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil. In retaliation, India demanded that Canada withdraw 41 of its diplomats from India to achieve parity in the number of diplomats each country has stationed in the other.

India’s external affairs ministry had previously accused Canadian diplomats of interfering in its internal affairs and maintaining an excessive presence compared to the number of Indian diplomats in Canada. New Delhi reportedly set a deadline of October 10 for Canada to comply with its request, but CTV News reported that the majority of Canadian diplomats working in India, outside of Delhi, have already been relocated to Kuala Lumpur or Singapore.

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This demand for a reduction in Canadian diplomatic personnel in India marks the latest development in a series of diplomatic blows exchanged between the two countries. Earlier, India suspended visa services for Canadians, further exacerbating the strained relationship.

Regarding the accusations surrounding the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, India conveyed to Canada that targeted killings were not a part of its policy and requested specific intelligence to support Canada’s claims. Canada asserted that it had previously shared information with India, which was subsequently rejected.

In a retaliatory move, India stated that it had been providing information about Khalistani terrorists to Canada without any significant response or action being taken. These actions and counteractions have contributed to the escalating dispute between the two nations.

Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson for India’s external affairs minister, commented on the reduction of Canadian diplomats, emphasizing the desire for parity in diplomatic presence. “Given that Canadian diplomatic presence is higher, we would assume that there would be a reduction,” Bagchi stated.

Former Indian diplomat KP Fabian noted that India currently has 21 diplomats in Canada, while Canada has 62 diplomats in India, resulting in an excess of 41 Canadian diplomats. Failure to withdraw these additional diplomats could lead to them being declared persona non grata, further intensifying the diplomatic standoff.

Fabian added, “In other words, in retaliation for Canada expelling 1 diplomat, India is planning to expel 42 diplomats. This is the essence of the picture. The disparity is not always applied. So, parity has been brought in to put pressure on Canada. It is possible that there is a way out.”

As the October 10 deadline approaches, both countries continue to grapple with the implications of this diplomatic spat, which could have wider implications for their bilateral relations

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