3 Oct 2023

India-Canada Diplomatic Row Deepens As India Asks Canada To Remove 41 Of Its Diplomats From Delhi Embassy

New Delhi: The India-Canada diplomatic row has deepened as India has told Canada to remove 41 of its diplomats from its Embassy in Delhi.

According to officials, the India’s Ministry of External Affairs has told Canada to repatriate two-thirds of its diplomats posted in India within a week, reducing the number to 21. However, Ministry of External Affairs has not issued any official statement in this regard. An official familiar with the matter confirmed the report to the media.

The Indian and Canadian foreign ministries did not immediately respond to media requests for comment on the reports that Canadian diplomats had been told to leave.

Canada has 62 diplomats in India and India had said that the total should be reduced by 41.

Canada not looking to escalate the dispute: Trudeau

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to confirm the report of the expulsions but said Canada was not looking to escalate the dispute.

"We're taking this extremely seriously, but we're going to continue to engage responsibly and constructively within with the Government of India," he told reporters on Tuesday.

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said earlier there was a climate of violence and an atmosphere of intimidation against Indian diplomats in Canada, where the presence of Sikh separatist groups has frustrated New Delhi. He described the ongoing diplomatic situation with Canada as a “deadlock”.

Trudeau said he had first brought up the allegations of Nijjar’s assassination privately with the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, during the G20 leaders’ summit in Delhi in early September. The issue was also raised by the US president, Joe Biden. 

Trudeau’s decision to go public with the allegations at the end of September had angered India, which in return accused Canada of being a “safe haven for terrorists” involved in the Khalistani separatist movement. The evidence for Trudeau’s claims has yet to be made public, apparently because of concerns it could compromise the investigation. The US government has repeatedly urged India to cooperate with Canada in the investigation

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