8.2 C
Los Angeles
Sunday, April 14, 2024

India-Canada Diplomatic Row Escalates as India Asks 41 Diplomats to Leave

India has told Canada that it must repatriate 41 diplomats by Oct. 10, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, an escalation of the diplomatic crisis that has erupted after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused New Delhi of having hands in the murder of a Khalistani leader. The move threatens to revoke the diplomatic immunity of any diplomats who remain beyond that date. The FT report cited people familiar with the demand. The Canadian foreign ministry and the Indian government declined to comment.

Ties between the two nations have become seriously strained over Canadian suspicion that Indian government agents had a role in the June murder in Canada of a Sikh separatist leader and Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who India had labeled a “terrorist.” The killing sparked protests by pro-Khalistan activists and led to an undiplomatic sex change between the two countries’ top diplomats. India rejected Trudeau’s accusations as absurd and motivated and expelled a Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat action.

The crisis has sparked fears of losing close connections India has been forging with Western powers, including the US, in recent years. India’s EAM S Jaishankar warned last week that the problem could jeopardize a trade agreement with the US that has been in the works for several years.

India’s Ministry of external affairs has said it wants to see a “parity” in the number and rank of diplomats each country posts at its high commissions in each other’s capitals. Currently, Canada has several dozen more diplomats stationed at its mission in Delhi than India does in Ottawa.

In a speech in the House of Commons, Jaishankar said the killing of Najjar was a “grave violation of human rights.” He added that the issue of the killing had not been resolved despite repeated efforts by both sides to find a solution. He also called for ending “terrorist activities, politically-condoned hate crimes, and criminal violence” in Canada against Indian citizens. He urged Canadians to exercise utmost caution when traveling in India and heed advisories from the Indian government. He warned that visa services to Canada may be suspended if tensions do not ease. Mint’s Divyang Gupta contributed to this report.

Trending Now:

Recommended for "The Publishers Weekly"

Most Popular Articles