The Indian government has reportedly demanded that Canada withdraw approximately 40 of its diplomats from the country, according to sources cited by the Financial Times. The deadline for this repatriation has been set for October 10. However, no official statement has been released by the Indian government regarding this development. Currently, Canada has 62 diplomats stationed in India, and India has indicated that the total should be reduced by 41.
Diplomatic Relations Strained Following Trudeau's Allegations: The diplomatic relationship between New Delhi and Ottawa reached a low point following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's recent allegations linking the Indian government to the killing of Sikh activist, Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Nijjar was fatally shot outside a Gurdwara in Canada's Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18.
During a Canadian Parliament debate, Trudeau asserted that Canada's national security officials had reasons to believe that "agents of the Indian government" were responsible for Nijjar's killing. Nijjar had also served as the president of Surrey's Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara. In response, India categorically rejected these allegations, deeming them "absurd" and "motivated."
Canada Yet to Provide Public Evidence: India has underscored that Canada has not presented any public evidence to substantiate the claim regarding Nijjar's killing. The absence of concrete evidence has fueled skepticism about the allegations made by the Canadian Prime Minister.
Jaishankar Highlights "Permissiveness" in Canada: India's External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, recently commented on the ongoing tensions between the two nations, attributing them to what he termed as the Canadian government's "permissiveness" concerning terrorism, extremism, and violence within its borders. This issue has been a longstanding point of contention in the bilateral relationship.
The demand for the withdrawal of diplomats adds another layer of complexity to the strained India-Canada relations, which are marked by disputes and differences, particularly in the wake of Prime Minister Trudeau's controversial allegations. The situation continues to evolve as both countries grapple with the diplomatic repercussions of these developments.