Curated By: Saurabh Verma
Last Updated: September 21, 2023, 18:59 IST
Amid a diplomatic row with Canada following its allegations regarding Khalistan terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, India asked Canada to reduce its diplomatic presence in New Delhi citing “interference of Canadian diplomats” in India’s internal affairs.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India has informed the Canadian government that there should be parity in strength and rank equivalence in our mutual diplomatic presence.
“Their number here (in India) are very much higher than ours in Canada. The details of this are being worked out but I assume there will be reduction,” he said.
VIDEO | “We have informed the Canadian government that there should be parity in strength and rank equivalence in our mutual diplomatic presence. Their number here (in India) are very much higher than ours in Canada. The details of this are being worked out but I assume there… pic.twitter.com/sTMyJqaISt— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) September 21, 2023
When asked why India took the issue with Canada, Bagchi said, “We have seen Canadian diplomatic interference in our internal affairs. This is a factor that has been taken into account for seeking parity and strength.”
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.
Safe Haven for Terrorists in Canada: MEA
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.
On India’s reputation following Canada’s allegations, the MEA spokesperson said, “I think it is Canada and its growing reputation as a place of safe haven for terrorists for extremists and for organized crime. I think that’s the country that needs to worry about its international reputation.”
#WATCH | MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi says, “If you’re talking about reputational issues and reputational damage, if there’s any country that needs to look at this, I think it is Canada and its growing reputation as a place, as a safe haven for terrorists, for extremists, and… pic.twitter.com/F2LZGTJ6b9— ANI (@ANI) September 21, 2023
The MEA spokesperson Bagchi said high commissions in Canada are not working properly due to threats. “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.