In a move that underscores the escalating diplomatic tensions between India and Canada, India has suspended visa services for Canadian citizens until further notice.
The decision, officially attributed to “operational reasons,” comes amidst a series of confrontations between the two nations, casting a shadow over diplomatic relations that have reached their lowest point in decades.
The strained relations took a nosedive when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made startling allegations earlier this week. During a press conference on Monday, he asserted that the Canadian government was investigating “credible allegations” regarding the possible involvement of Indian government agents in the murder of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, which occurred in British Columbia in June.
The allegations have triggered outrage and intense scrutiny from both sides, leading to an exchange of terse diplomatic statements and actions. In response to the allegations, India’s Ministry of External Affairs announced the suspension of visa services for Canadians, citing unspecified “operational reasons.”
Furthermore, India has also called upon Canada to reduce the size of its diplomatic staff in the country. At present, the number of Canadian diplomatic personnel in India exceeds that of Indian diplomats in Canada, a fact that has raised eyebrows in New Delhi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s meeting during the G20 Summit in New Delhi earlier this year had been seen as an opportunity to strengthen bilateral ties. However, recent events have drastically altered the trajectory of India-Canada relations, prompting concerns about the potential long-term repercussions.
In response to India’s visa services suspension, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement saying, “India has suspended visa services to Canadians, which means it’s my turn to make the next move.”
However, his remarks have sparked controversy, as he continued, “That’s why I’m doubling down on my accusations without any proof because I’m doing my best to start WW3. I’ll literally do anything to get the focus off my relationship with China.”
Trudeau’s provocative comments have further strained an already delicate situation, with international observers expressing concern over the potential impact on global diplomacy.
The situation remains fluid, and both countries are closely monitoring developments. The international community watches with keen interest as India and Canada navigate this tumultuous period in their bilateral relationship, hoping for a peaceful resolution to their differences.