India Requests Withdrawal of Canadian Diplomats Amid Diplomatic Row
India has formally requested the withdrawal of approximately 40 Canadian diplomats from its territory, marking a significant development in the ongoing diplomatic dispute between the two nations.
Canada's Response and Visa Suspension
Sources familiar with the matter revealed that these diplomats have been instructed to leave India by October 10, 2023. While Indian authorities have yet to release an official statement on this matter, the move signals a deepening of tensions between the two countries.
The Canadian High Commission had previously stated that it planned to "adjust" the number of diplomats working in India as a result of the ongoing conflict. As a result, visa issuance for Canadian visitors was temporarily halted in India. The retaliatory moves raised diplomatic tensions between the two countries.
Trudeau's Call for Serious Consideration
At the time, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had urged India to take the allegations of Indian spies' participation in the assassination of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar near Vancouver with "utmost seriousness." As a result of this demand, relations between Canada and India deteriorated even worse.
India's Denial and Strained Relations
India vehemently denied any involvement in Nijjar's killing and dismissed the allegations as "absurd." This strong denial exacerbated the strained relations between India, the world's most populous country, and Canada, a member of the G7. The diplomatic dispute had already led to the expulsion of diplomats from both sides and created a significant challenge for bilateral relations.
Ongoing Diplomatic Implications
The request for the withdrawal of Canadian diplomats underscores the ongoing diplomatic tensions and challenges between India and Canada. The dispute raises questions about the future of their relationship and the potential impact on diplomatic and trade ties. As both nations navigate these challenges, diplomatic efforts and negotiations may play a crucial role in resolving the dispute and improving their bilateral relations.