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India May Resume Visa Services To Canada If Safety Progresses For Indian Diplomats: S Jaishankar

Concerns about Canadian officials meddling in New Delhi’s affairs prompted India to activate the parity clause in Canada’s diplomatic mission there, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Sunday.

The minister of external affairs added that if there is improvement in the safety of Indian diplomats in Canada, India is probably going to start issuing visas to citizens of that country again.

Following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s accusations last month of a “potential” Indian operative role in the June execution of Khalistani rebel Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the relationship between India and Canada became severely strained.

A few days following Justin Trudeau’s accusations, India requested that Ottawa reduce its diplomatic presence in the nation and said that it would be temporarily halting the issuing of visas to Canadian citizens.

“If we see progress in safety of our diplomats in Canada, we would like to resume issuance of visas there,” S Jaishankar said at an event while replying to a question on India-Canada ties.

On downsizing Canada’s diplomatic presence in India, he said diplomatic parity is very much provided for in the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.

“Parity is very much provided for by the Vienna Convention, which is the relevant international rule on this. In our case, we invoked parity because we had concerns about continuous interference in our affairs by Canadian personnel,” Mr Jaishankar said.

Forty-one Canadian ambassadors have already left India.

Announcing the ambassadors’ return from India on Thursday, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly referred to New Delhi’s actions as “contrary to international law” and in breach of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations. India has already denied the accusation.

According to S. Jaishankar, there is currently a challenging moment in the relationship between India and Canada. He also mentioned that India has issues with a particular aspect of Canadian politics.

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