Tensions Escalate Between India and Canada Impacting Visa Services


CANADA — Visa services between India and Canada have been severely disrupted following the controversy surrounding the killing of a Sikh separatist leader. Last month, New Delhi ceased processing visa applications, and in a recent move, has requested over 40 diplomats to leave the country. This reduction in diplomatic personnel could potentially lead to delays in Canadian visa processing services.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ignited a diplomatic crisis when he asserted last month that there were 'credible allegations' linking Indian government agents to the June murder. India promptly dismissed this assertion as 'absurd' and retaliated with a series of restrictive measures.

Insiders familiar with the situation informed Hindustan Times that the recent developments have not yet impacted Canadian visa processing services. However, they cautioned that a notable reduction in diplomatic personnel would undoubtedly have repercussions.

In response to the escalating situation, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly stated on Tuesday that Canada seeks "private talks with India to resolve a diplomatic dispute."

“We are in contact with the government of India. We take Canadian diplomats' safety very seriously and we will continue to engage privately because we think diplomatic conversations are best when they remain private," Reuters quoted Joly as saying to reporters.

Canada has not yet presented any public evidence in support of the claim regarding the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. The nation has expressed its intention to "work constructively with India" regarding these allegations.

Reportedly, India has communicated to Canada that the diplomats must be repatriated by October 10. However, Canadian officials have refrained from directly addressing this claim.

Trudeau emphasized on Tuesday that Canada is not “looking to escalate the situation with India" and emphasized that Ottawa aims to remain engaged in New Delhi to assist Canadians.