The Canadian Diplomat who was asked to leave India is said to be head of the country’s intelligence in India.
The report in HT said senior Canadian diplomat who was ordered to leave India, hours after Ottawa expelled an Indian diplomat, is the head of Canadian intelligence in India.
The office of Canada foreign minister Mélanie Joly, who announced the expulsion of a “top Indian diplomat”, had identified the official as Pavan Kumar Rai, head of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in Canada, according to public broadcaster CBC.
India responded by expelling Olivier Sylvestere, who is the Canadian intelligence agency station chief in India, the report said.
The report said Sylvestere was operating in India under official cover,
The government has asked him to leave India within five days.
The decision to expel the Canadian diplomat reflects the Indian government’s growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities, according to a statement by India’s foreign ministry.
The tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions follows Canada’s accusation that India may have been involved in the assassination of Sikh militant Hardeep Singh Nijjar on its soil. The events have soured further the relations between the two countries.
The use of diplomatic titles to protect intelligence officers in foreign countries has long been a standard practice adopted by several countries.
Most countries maintain an intelligence service within their embassies.