India Canada Row: The dispute between India and Canada does not seem to be subsiding anywhere. After India’s strictness, Canada has sent most of its diplomats to Singapore and Malaysia. In fact, Canada has sent most of its diplomats working in India to Malaysia or Singapore amid the controversy over the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India has given Canada a deadline of October 10 to reduce the number of its diplomats working in New Delhi, after which Canada has taken this step. This report by ‘CTV News’, a private Canadian television network, comes after India earlier this week asked Canada to reduce the number of diplomats working in its embassies.
Gap widens due to India Canada diplomacy dispute
A diplomatic row has arisen between India and Canada following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations of possible involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani separatist Nijjar in June. India rejected the allegations as “absurd” and “motivated” and expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in retaliation for Ottawa expelling an Indian official over the matter. CTV News quoted sources as saying that the Indian government has given Ottawa time till October 10 to reduce the presence of Canadian diplomats. He says that the number of diplomats in New Delhi should be equal to the number of Indian diplomats in Canada.
Earlier reports said that the number of these diplomats is 41, but CTV News sources said that the number of diplomats has been asked to be equalized. The report said that most of the Canadian diplomats working in India outside Delhi have been sent to Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. Global Affairs Canada, the department that manages Canada’s diplomatic and consular relations, had earlier said it was assessing its workforce in India after some diplomats received threats on various social media platforms. As a result, and out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to temporarily reduce our workforce in India, the department said.
Canada should bring balance in the number of diplomats – India
India on Thursday said Canada should reduce its diplomatic presence in the country to achieve parity in numbers and alleged that some Canadian diplomats are involved in interfering in New Delhi’s internal affairs. This is a clear indication of the ongoing deterioration in relations between the two countries over the killing of Nijjar. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that discussions were underway on modalities to reach mutual diplomatic presence and gave a clear indication that India would not review its position on the issue.
There is information that the number of Canadian diplomats in India is around 60 and New Delhi wants Ottawa to reduce this number to at least 36. Asked whether Canada has shared any information or evidence related to Nijjar’s killing with India, Bagchi told Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar’s recent comments were cited that if any specific or relevant information is shared with New Delhi, he is ready to consider it.