External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Sunday that India had invoked the parity requirement for Canada’s diplomatic presence in the country, in light of concerns about interference by Canadian personnel in New Delhi’s affairs.
The External Affairs Minister also said that India is likely to resume issuing visas to Canadians if it sees progress in the safety of Indian diplomats in Canada.
Relations between India and Canada have been severely strained following allegations by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last month about the “possible” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nigar in June.
Days after Justin Trudeau’s allegations, India announced a temporary suspension of issuing visas to Canadian citizens and asked Ottawa to reduce its diplomatic presence in the country.
“If we see progress regarding the safety of our diplomats in Canada, we would like to resume issuance of visas there,” S Jaishankar said at an event while responding to a question on Indo-Canadian relations.
Regarding the reduction of Canada’s diplomatic presence in India, he said diplomatic parity is largely enshrined in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
“Equivalence is largely enshrined in the Vienna Convention, which is the relevant international rule on this matter. In our case, we resorted to equivalence because we had concerns about continued interference in our affairs by Canadian employees,” Jaishankar said.
Canada has already withdrawn 41 of its diplomats from India.
Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Jolie, who announced the return of diplomats from India on Thursday, described New Delhi’s actions as “contrary to international law” and in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. India has already rejected this charge.
S Jaishankar said that the relationship between India and Canada is now going through a difficult phase, adding that India has problems with a certain segment of Canadian politics.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”