Diplomatic Tug of War: Canada Shifts Diplomats in Response to India’s Call

In a significant development amidst the ongoing diplomatic row between India and Canada, reports suggest that Canada has taken steps to withdraw a substantial portion of its diplomats from India. This move comes in response to New Delhi’s request for Canada to reduce the number of its diplomats stationed in India, aimed at achieving parity in diplomatic representation.

A Shifting Diplomatic Landscape

The escalating tensions between India and Canada stem from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s public accusation that India was involved in the assassination of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was killed in Canada. In response, India called on Canada to relocate 41 of its diplomats out of India, seeking to balance the number of diplomats each country has stationed in the other’s territory.

According to reports from Canadian media, CTV News, a significant number of Canadian diplomats, particularly those working outside of Delhi, have been relocated to either Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. This strategic move is seen as Canada’s response to New Delhi’s diplomatic pressure.

Visa Services Suspended and Information Shared

India’s push for diplomatic parity follows its suspension of visa services in Canada, highlighting the depth of the diplomatic crisis. India has also conveyed to Canada that targeted killings are not part of its policy and has called on Canada to provide specific intelligence if it possesses any regarding its accusations. Canada has maintained that it shared information with India weeks ago, but India rejected it.

India has, in turn, emphasized that it has been sharing details of Khalistani terrorists with Canada without receiving a satisfactory response.

Aiming for Diplomatic Parity

India’s aim in seeking a reduction of Canadian diplomats in the country is to establish parity in diplomatic presence. As it stands, Canada has a significantly higher number of diplomats in India compared to the number of Indian diplomats in Canada. To address this disparity, India called for the withdrawal of the extra 41 Canadian diplomats stationed in India.

Former Indian diplomat KP Fabian explained that India currently has 21 diplomats in Canada, whereas Canada has 62 in India. Consequently, India’s request for the withdrawal of 41 diplomats seeks to bring the numbers closer to equilibrium. Failure to withdraw these diplomats may result in India declaring them persona non grata.

In summary, the ongoing diplomatic tensions between India and Canada have led to significant developments, with Canada reportedly relocating a substantial portion of its diplomats from India in response to New Delhi’s call for diplomatic parity.

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