Bagchi said there was a degree of bias in Trudeau’s allegations. He said Canada has not shared any specific information with India regarding the matter. Relations between India and Canada have been tense for the last few months in view of the increasing activities of pro-Khalistani elements in the North American country. India believes that the Trudeau government is not paying attention to its genuine concerns.
India on Thursday announced a temporary ban on issuing visas to Canadian citizens in view of the ‘security threats’ faced by its High Commission and Consulates in Canada. India took this step amid a diplomatic row over Ottawa’s allegations related to the killing of a Khalistani separatist in Canada. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the decision will also include Canadian visa applicants from third countries. He also stressed that Canada should take action against Khalistani supporters carrying out their activities from its territory. He said that all categories of visas have been suspended.
“Our High Commission and Consulates in Canada are facing “security threats” due to which India is temporarily unable to process visa applications from Canada,” Bagchi said in a press conference. “You are aware of the security threats facing our High Commission and Consulates in Canada,” he said. Due to this their normal work has been disrupted. Accordingly, our High Commissions and Consulates are temporarily unable to process visa applications. Bagchi said the situation will be regularly reviewed. He said, “The issue is not about the visit to India. Those who have valid visas and documents such as OCI (Overseas Indian Citizenship) cards are free to travel to India.” He said, ”The issue is incitement of violence, inaction of Canadian authorities, creating an environment which our High Commission and disrupts the functioning of consulates.
Due to this, we have to temporarily stop issuing visas or providing visa services. Bagchi said, “We will review the situation on a regular basis.” ) also asked to reduce the number of its diplomatic staff. For this, New Delhi argued that the number of Canadian diplomatic staff in India is higher than the existing Indian diplomatic staff in Canada and there should be parity in strength and ranks in terms of mutual presence. Earlier in the day, a private agency appointed by India to conduct preliminary screening of visa applications from Canadian citizens issued a notice on its website regarding suspension of visa services due to “operational reasons”.
However, after a few hours it was removed and then put online again. The agency ‘BLS International’ also informed the stock exchange that it has suspended India’s visa services to Canada with immediate effect. Diplomatic dispute continues between India and Canada over the murder of Khalistani separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. The controversy arose following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations of ‘possible’ involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Nijjar in June. India on Tuesday rejected the allegations as “absurd” and “motivated” and expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in retaliation for Canada expelling an Indian official over the matter.
India on Wednesday took a tougher stance, cautioning its citizens living there and those considering traveling to Canada to exercise “extreme caution” in view of rising anti-India activities and politically supported hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada. Issued advisory to take precautions. Bagchi said there was a degree of bias in Trudeau’s allegations. He said Canada has not shared any specific information with India regarding the matter. Relations between India and Canada have been tense for the last few months in view of the increasing activities of pro-Khalistani elements in the North American country. India believes that the Trudeau government is not paying attention to its genuine concerns.
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