| 7 December 2023, Thursday |

Canada withdraws 41 diplomats from India after Delhi’s warning over diplomatic immunity

Forty-one Canadian diplomats departed from India following New Delhi’s intervention in the aftermath of the dispute that arose regarding the death of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
New Delhi had asked Ottawa earlier this month to withdraw dozens of its diplomatic staff. India had said, it would proceed with removing the diplomatic immunity if they had remained.
The India-Canada ties have hit a new low after Canada accused India of being behind the 18 June killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, an accusation India has denounced as absurd.

Canadian consular services paused in Chandigarh, Mumbai, Bangalore
Meanwhile, the Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly also confirmed the development that Ottawa has taken 41 of its diplomats out of the country. The development has consequently resulted in pause of consular services in at least three Indian cities.

“As of now, I can confirm that India has formally conveyed its plan to unethically remove diplomatic immunities for all but 21 Canadian diplomats and dependents in Delhi by October 20. This means 41 Canadian diplomats and their 42 dependents were in danger of having immunity stripped on an arbitrary date and this would put their personal safety at risk…Canadians watching may be wondering what this means for our operations in India. There’s no question that India’s decision will impact the levels of services to Consulates in both countries,” Melanie Joly said.
“Unfortunately, we have to put a pause on all in-person services in our continents in Chandigarh, in Mumbai and in Bangalore…”

After Canada asked India for its cooperation in the purported Canadian investigation in Nijjar’s killing, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar last month said in New York that India would be willing to examine any evidence presented by Canada.

Jaishankar also raised the point of continued Canadian inaction following attacks by Khalistani separatists on the Indian consulates in Canada.

“We have actually been badgering the Canadians. We have given them loads of information about organized crime leadership which operates out of Canada,” Jaishankar said, referring to Khalistani separatists.

“We have a situation where actually our diplomats are threatened, our consulates have been attacked and often comments are made (that are) interference in our politics,” he said.

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