The Indian government has issued a firm deadline for Canada to reduce its diplomatic staff in India to a level equal to the number of Indian diplomats in Canada. Sources have disclosed to CTV News that Canada must meet this demand by October 10, a move that escalates the ongoing diplomatic tensions between the two nations.
India’s Ultimatum: Earlier reports had suggested that up to 41 Canadian diplomats would need to leave India. However, the latest information from sources reveals that the Indian government is specifically requesting parity in diplomatic staff numbers. This demand comes amidst rising concerns about Canadian interference in India’s internal affairs.
Majority of Canadian Diplomats in India Relocated Amid Security Concerns: In a related development, it has come to light that a significant number of Canadian diplomats working in India, outside of the capital city, Delhi, have been evacuated. These diplomats have been relocated to either Kuala Lumpur or Singapore due to security concerns. Global Affairs Canada had previously indicated that some of its diplomats had received threats on various social media platforms, prompting an assessment of their staff complement in India.
Global Affairs Canada Responds to Threats: Global Affairs Canada responded to the security concerns by announcing a temporary adjustment of its staff presence in India. The department cited an “abundance of caution” as the reason for this move, coming just days after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused the Indian government of being involved in a murder on Canadian soil.
India Seeks Parity in Diplomatic Presence: Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi addressed the ongoing discussions about the timeline for Canadian officials leaving India. Bagchi emphasized that India was seeking parity in diplomatic presence due to the “much higher” number of Canadian diplomats in India and what was perceived as their “continuing interference in our internal affairs.”
Canadian Leaders Navigate Delicate Diplomatic Dance Amid Rising Tensions: When reports of India’s demand to reduce the number of Canadian diplomats in the country first emerged, Prime Minister Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly did not immediately confirm them. They stressed their commitment to avoiding further escalation of tensions with India during this “extremely challenging time.” Trudeau emphasized the importance of Canadian diplomats working with the Indian government to support Canadians and Canadian families while pledging to engage responsibly and constructively with India.
As the October 10 deadline approaches, diplomatic efforts will be critical in managing the strained relations between Canada and India and ensuring a peaceful resolution to the current situation.