Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday did not confirm how many diplomats had been told to leave.
In late September, I reported that India expelled one of Canada’s top diplomats, increasing tensions between the two countries over Canadian accusations that India may have been involved in the killing of a Sikh separatist leader in suburban Vancouver.
Tensions have ramped up yet again. An Indian official reports that Canada has been told to remove about 40 of its 62 diplomats from its embassy in Delhi.
Ottawa has been told by New Delhi that it must repatriate roughly 40 diplomats by October 10, said people familiar with the demand. One person said India had threatened to revoke the diplomatic immunity of diplomats who remain after that date.
[Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau on Tuesday did not confirm how many diplomats had been told to leave but highlighted the importance of having a diplomatic presence in New Delhi because of the dispute between the countries.
“Obviously, we are going through an extremely challenging time with India right now, but that’s why it is so important for us to have diplomats on the ground working with the Indian government and there to support Canadians and Canadian families,” he said.
Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly indicated she is in contact with the Indian government to try to resolve this situation.
“We will continue to engage privately because we think that diplomatic conversations are best when they remain private,” Joly said.
India has accused Canada for years of giving free rein to Sikh separatists, including Nijjar.
India has also canceled visas for Canadians. Canada has not retaliated for that. India previously expelled a senior Canadian diplomat after Canada expelled a senior Indian diplomat.
So far, the economic impact has been slight.
- India’s JSW Steel Ltd is slowing down the process to buy a stake in the steelmaking coal unit of Canada’s Teck Resources, Reuters reported on Sept. 21 citing a source close to the discussions.
- India suspended issuing new visas for Canadians on Sept. 22 and asked Ottawa to reduce its diplomatic presence in India.
- Fertiliser importer Indian Potash said on Sept. 22 that it does not expect supplies of Canadian potash to be affected by the row and that it hopes to extend a contract with Canadian supplier Canpotex beyond the end of September. Canada is one of the key suppliers of potash to India.
- Canadian lentil sales to India slowed after tensions rose between the two nations, industry sources in both countries told Reuters. Canada is India’s main import source of lentils, a protein-rich staple.
Canada’s opposition leader is concerned about the escalating tensions.
“Very concerned, I would be professional”, says Canada opposition leader Pierre Poilievre over India asking Canadian diplomats to leave the country as part of parity with number of Indian diplomats in Canada pic.twitter.com/PlPOMP6Vu0
— Sidhant Sibal (@sidhant) October 3, 2023
Meanwhile, Canadians everywhere can rest easy now that US intelligence is assisting Canada in tracking down Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s killers.
“We’ve been working with the U.S. very closely, including on the public disclosure yesterday,” the source said. The evidence in Canada’s possession would be shared “in due course”, said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the information.
Between Trudeau and US intelligence, I wish the good people of Canada a ton of good luck.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.