New Delhi: India has accused Canadian diplomats of interfering in its internal affairs and has called for a reduction in the number of Canadian diplomats stationed in the country. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, emphasized the need for parity in diplomatic strength and rank equivalence between the two nations.
This development follows a recent diplomatic dispute between India and Canada, which escalated in the past few days. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India of involvement in the killing of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who had been wanted in India for several years and was killed in June. Trudeau claimed to have credible evidence of Indian involvement.
India strongly rejected these allegations, leading to a diplomatic tit-for-tat between the two historically friendly nations. Both India and Canada expelled a diplomat each from their consulates.
In response to the escalating tensions, India issued an advisory to Indians residing in Canada, urging them to exercise caution. India also temporarily suspended its visa processing services in Canada and called on Canada to reduce its diplomatic presence in India.
The MEA spokesperson noted that Canada did not provide any specific details to support its claims. Furthermore, the MEA characterized Canada as a safe haven for terrorist activities and highlighted that India had shared a list of 20-25 individuals with Canada over the years, but no action had been taken in response to these concerns.