Curated By: Saurabh Verma
Last Updated: September 21, 2023, 18:14 IST
India has stopped processing visas at its high commission and consulates in Canada amid an escalating diplomatic row between the two counties after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged involvement of Government of India agents in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that the Indian high commission and consulates in Canada are not working properly due to threats.
“The issue is incitement of violence and inaction by the Canadian government, creation of an environment that disrupts the function of our high commission and consulates that’s what stopping us temporarily from providing visa services. This is the reason why our high commission and consulates are not able to process visa applications temporarily. We will continue to review the situation regularly,” he said.
VIDEO | “All categories of visas are suspended. The issue is not about travel to India but the issue is incitement of violence and inaction by the Canadian government. Those who have valid visas and OCI cards can travel freely,” says @MEAIndia spokesperson amid India-Canada row. pic.twitter.com/gbqBrDwXZj— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) September 21, 2023
The MEA said all categories of visas are suspended but clarified that those who have valid visas and OCI cards can travel freely.
The bilateral relations between the two countries have taken a hit following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations of a “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada in June.
India has rejected the allegations as “absurd” and “motivated” and expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move to Ottawa’s expulsion of an Indian official over the case.
Bagchi further said safe haven is being provided in Canada to those with terrorism charges. “Safe haven is being provided in Canada, we want the Canadian govt to not do so and take action against those who have terrorism charges or send them here (India)to face justice,” he said.