Canada has withdrawn 41 diplomats from India, the former’s foreign minister Melanie Joly said on Thursday, October 19. This moves comesin the backdrop of the dispute over the killing of Khalistan Tiger Force chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar on June 18. Joly said Ottawa will not take retaliatory steps Canada withdraws 41.
Last month, India asked Ottawa to reduce its diplomatic presence in the country after Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there was “credible” evidence of a potential link between the Indian government and Nijjar’s killing.
Joly said India had threatened to unilaterally revoke the diplomats’ official status by Friday unless they left. This move, she said, was “unreasonable” and unprecedented and clearly violated the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations Canada withdraws 41.
“Given the implications of India’s actions on the safety of our diplomats, we have facilitated their safe departure from India,” she told a press conference.
“If we allow the norm of diplomatic immunity to be broken, no diplomats anywhere on the planet would be safe. So for this reason, we will not reciprocate,” she said.
Canada now has 21 diplomats in India. 42 dependents accompanied the 41 who left.
India has dismissed as absurd Trudeau’s suspicions that its agents were linked to the murder of Nijjar, a Canadian citizen whom New Delhi had labeled a “terrorist.”
Around 2 million Canadians, around 5% of the population, have Indian heritage. India is Canada’s largest source of global students, making up for roughly 40% of study permit holders.
Canada’s Immigration Minister Marc Miller said the diplomats’ departure meant Canada would slash the number of embassy staff dealing with immigration.
“We acknowledge the concerns and frustrations that this situation may cause for clients, families, educational institutions, communities, businesses in Canada as a whole,” he told the press conference.
Visa application centers in India are operated by third-party contractors and would not be affected, he said.