EAM Jaishankar Hints At Resuming Visa Service In Canada If It Provides Safety To Indian Diplomats

Addressing the reduced visa services between India and Canada amidst an ongoing diplomatic dispute, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar stated on Sunday that he would like “very much to resume the issuing of visas” if Indian diplomats are afforded the protection outlined in the Vienna Convention.

Jaishankar explained that India halted visa issuance in Canada a few weeks ago due to concerns about the safety of our diplomats who were tasked with the visa application process.

“Because ensuring safety and security of diplomats is the most fundamental aspect of the Vienna Convention. And right now that is what has in many ways been challenged in Canada that our people are not safe, our diplomats are not safe. So if we see progress there, I would like very much to resume the issue of visas. My hope would be that it would be something which should happen very soon,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Furthermore, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar noted that the India-Canada relationship was currently experiencing a “difficult phase”.

“The relationship right now is going through a difficult phase. But I do want to say the problems we have are with a certain segment of Canadian politics and the policies which flow from that,” S Jaishankar said. This comes shortly after Canada reduced its diplomatic presence in India, withdrawing 41 diplomats, and retaining only the Canadian High Commission in Delhi to handle visa and consular services.

In September, India asked Canada to reduce its diplomatic presence within the country, based on the principle of maintaining parity in the number of diplomats stationed in each other’s capitals. The number of Canadian diplomats posted in Delhi significantly exceeded the count of Indian diplomats in Ottawa.

Diplomatic relations between India and Canada became strained following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s assertion of a “potential link” between the murder of Khalistani militant Hardeep Singh Nijjar and the Indian government. Nijjar was fatally attacked in June outside a gurdwara in Canada by unidentified assailants.

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