The High Commission of Canada in India announced on Thursday that it will be making temporary adjustments to its staff presence in the country due to concerns about the safety of its diplomats, who have reportedly received threats on social media. In a statement, the High Commission stated, "Our High Commission and all consulates in India are open and operational and continue to serve clients. In light of the current environment where tensions have heightened, we are taking action to ensure the safety of our diplomats. With some diplomats having received threats on various social media platforms, Global Affairs Canada is assessing its staff complement in India. As a result, and out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to temporarily adjust staff presence in India. In the context of respect for obligations under the Vienna conventions, we expect India to provide for the security of our accredited diplomats and consular officers in India, just as we are for theirs here."
This move comes amidst an ongoing diplomatic dispute between Canada and India, sparked by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegations of potential involvement of Indian government agents in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June. India has vehemently rejected these charges, leading to the expulsion of diplomats on both sides and escalating tensions.
In a related development, the Indian Mission in Canada has suspended visa services until further notice for operational reasons, as reported by BLS International Services Limited, an Indian outsourcing service provider for government and diplomatic missions worldwide. Visa applicants are advised to stay updated on the situation by checking the BLS website for further updates.
In response to the diplomatic row, India has advised its citizens living in Canada and those planning to travel there to exercise 'utmost caution.' The Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi expressed concerns about 'threats' targeting Indian diplomats and individuals opposing the 'anti-India agenda,' cautioning against travel to regions and venues in Canada where such incidents have occurred.