Next year's general elections in India will determine the unity within the INDIA block
Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly has sought to defuse the diplomatic tension with India over the killing of Khalistani terrorist and said that Ottawa wants private talks with New Delhi to resolve the issue. Her remarks came on Tuesday, hours after a report said that India has asked Canada to withdraw 41 of its diplomats posted in India by October 10.
“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,” Joly told reporters.
According to a report published by the Financial Times, Indian government has told Canada to repatriate 41 of its 62 diplomats. India has also reportedly threatened to revoke their diplomatic immunity if they stayed after October 10.
The development comes in the backdrop of a massive diplomatic row between India and Canada over the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen who was designated as terrorist by New Delhi. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had accused agents of Indian government of having a role in Nijjar’s killing. India strongly denied the allegations terming them “absurd and politically motivated”.
However, Trudeau’s allegations without any specific evidence irked the Indian government and the country banned visa services for Canadian nationals. India also accused Canadian diplomats of “interference in internal matters” and asked Ottawa to have parity in diplomats’ strength.
Earlier on Tuesday, Trudeau had reasserted that he doesn’t want to escalate the situation and wanted to be on the ground in India to help Canadian families living there.
“Canada is not looking not looking to escalate situation with India… we will continue to engage responsibly and constructively with New Delhi…We want to be on the ground in India to help Canadian families there,” he added.