Canada PM Trudeau says India making life hard for millions of people amid diplomatic crisis


Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday said India's actions are making life very hard for millions of people in India and Canada after Canada confirmed the withdrawal of 41 diplomats from India adding that this will delay the visa services in India. Canada called India's move unreasonable and escalatory as New Delhi asked Ottawa to reduce its diplomatic presence in India -- so that there is a parity as India has a far lesser number of diplomats present in Canada. India also accused these Canadian diplomats of interfering in India's internal affairs. The diplomatic fallout between India and Canada was triggered by Trudeau's public allegation that India had a role in the killing of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India rejected the claim and accused Canada of providing safe haven to terrorists.

"The Indian government is making it unbelievably difficult for life as usual to continue for millions of people in India and in Canada. And they're doing it by contravening a very basic principle of diplomacy," Trudeau said, as quoted by Reuters.

"It's something that has me very concerned for the well-being and happiness of millions of Canadians who trace their origins to the Indian subcontinent," he said adding that the expulsion of some of the diplomats from Canada will pose difficulties for Indians studying in Canada.

'Unreasonable and escalatory': Canada
Canada's foreign ministry issued a statement confirming that Canada facilitated the safe departure of 41 Canadian diplomats and their 42 dependents from India. Canada said India's action is contrary to international law, including the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. “This action taken by India is completely unreasonable and escalatory. India accredited each and every one of the Canadian diplomats they are now expelling. And all of those diplomats were carrying out their duties in good faith, and to the greater benefit of both countries,” the statement said.

'Reject any attempt to portray...': India
The ministry of external affairs replied to the Canada statement and rejected any attempt to "portray the implementation of parity as a violation of international norms". India once again said a much higher number of Canadian diplomats were present in India. The action of seeking parity is "fully consistent with Article 11.1 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations", the statement said.

Canada had 62 diplomats in India which has now reduced to 21 and the reduction would impact visa services in India. " We will now be forced to pause temporarily all in-person services at Consulates, until further notice. India’s decision will impact levels of services to citizens of both countries...Five IRCC staff remain in India and will focus on work that requires an in­-country presence such as urgent processing, visa printing, risk assessment and overseeing key partners, including visa application centres, panel physicians and clinics that perform immigration medical exams. The rest of the work and staff will be reassigned across our global processing network," Canada said.

culled from Hindustan Times

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