India Canada Row: Amid the dispute between India and Canada over the killing of a Sikh separatist leader, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie has said that after India’s threat to withdraw the immunity given to 41 diplomats of her country, those diplomats and their families will be returned. Has been called. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had last month alleged that there was a “possibility” of involvement of Indian agents in the killing of 45-year-old Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia on June 18. India included Nijjar in the list of terrorists in 2020. India had expressed displeasure over these allegations and rejected them as absurd and motivated by vested interests.
Jolie said on Thursday that I can confirm that India has formally announced its plan to unilaterally remove the diplomatic immunity of all Canadian diplomats and their families except 21 Canadian diplomats serving in Delhi by October 20, i.e. tomorrow. Information has been given. Canada will stop all in-person services at the Consulates in Chandigarh, Mumbai and Bengaluru and will now ask all Canadians in India to visit the High Commission in New Delhi.
The Canadian Embassy in New Delhi updated its travel advisory hours after Jolie’s statement, urging its citizens to exercise a high level of caution around Bengaluru, Chandigarh and Mumbai. Jolie said that under her unreasonable request for diplomatic parity, India would allow only 21 diplomats and their families to retain their diplomatic status, leaving others at risk of being arbitrarily stripped of their security and being subject to reprisals or They would be in danger of being arrested.
He told a news conference in Ottawa that this meant the immunity of 41 Canadian diplomats and 42 of their dependents was at risk of being lifted at an arbitrary date, putting their personal safety at risk. Jolie said that the safety of Canadians and our diplomats is always my first concern. In view of the impact on our diplomats due to Indian actions, we have made arrangements for their safe return from India. This means that our diplomats and their families have now left (from India).
India had last month asked Canada to reduce the number of its diplomatic personnel in the country, arguing that there should be parity in the number and rank of diplomats. The number of Canadian diplomats in India is higher than the number of Indian diplomats serving in Canada. “There is a basic principle of diplomacy and it is a two-way street,” he said. This works only if every country follows the rules. Jolie said that the unilateral removal of diplomatic privileges and immunities is contrary to international law and a clear violation of the Geneva Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Threatening to do so is inappropriate and creates tension. If we allow the rules of diplomatic immunity to be broken, no diplomat, anywhere, will be safe. He said that therefore we will not take retaliatory action.
Jolie said, “I want to say clearly that Canada will continue to protect international law that applies to all countries and will continue to engage with India.” We need diplomats on the ground now more than ever, and we need to talk to each other. Jolie announced the development on the “situation with India” along with Mark Miller, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. Mark said that the announcement of reducing the number of Canadian diplomats by one-third will affect the services of the Canadian Embassy in India.
Officials told reporters on Thursday evening that the diplomats remaining in India are considered key staff and will focus on the current challenging diplomatic situation as well as trade and business files.
The Canadian Embassy in New Delhi said in its travel advisory that a high level of caution should be exercised in and around Bengaluru, Chandigarh and Mumbai. In-person consular services are temporarily unavailable in these cities or surrounding areas. The advisory states that if anyone requires consular services, he or she will have to contact the High Commission of Canada in New Delhi. Miller said India was the top country in terms of the number of permanent residents, temporary foreign workers and international students coming to Canada in 2022 and so the federal government understands the impacts of the current move.
Earlier, India’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had asked Canada to reduce the number of its diplomats. He had said that their number is more than the number of Indian diplomats serving in Canada. Earlier, Canada had expelled an Indian diplomat serving in its country, after which India also took the step of expelling a senior Canadian diplomat.