India has alleged “Canadian diplomatic interference” in its internal affairs and asked Canada to downsize the number of its diplomats working here.
New Delhi: Canada blaming India in Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s killing has met with strong resistance, triggering a rare diplomatic standoff for India with a western country.
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India’s first counterattack was to expel a Canadian diplomat after they expelled an Indian following their Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegation. As the issue blew up Tuesday, India promptly issued a rejection and summoned the Canadian High Commissioner to inform him that a senior diplomat has been expelled. The unnamed diplomat was given five days to leave India.
The government has alleged “Canadian diplomatic interference” in its internal affairs and asked Canada to downsize the number of its diplomats working in India. “We have informed the Canadian government that there should be parity in diplomatic presence. Their numbers are very much higher than ours in Canada…I assume there will be a reduction,” said the foreign ministry spokesperson.
India has suspended visa services in Canada citing “security threats” faced by its High Commission and consulates, affecting thousands of Canadian tourists, business travellers and even some former Indian citizens. “You are aware of the security threats being faced by our High Commissions and Consulates in Canada… this has disrupted their normal functioning,” the ministry said.
India issued a travel advisory on Wednesday, asking its citizens living in Canada and those travelling there to exercise caution. This came a day after Canada updated its travel advisory to India. India’s advisory spoke of growing anti-India activities and “politically condoned hate crimes” in Canada. Canada rejected India’s advisory, claiming it is one of the safest countries in the world.
Canada has not shared any information with India over the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the Foreign Ministry has said. It also accused Canada of not acting upon “specific evidence about criminal activities” done by Canada-based individuals. The government had earlier said that their political figures openly expressing sympathy for “such elements” remains a matter of deep concern.
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