After exceeding the October 10 deadline given by the Indian government, Canada's foreign minister Melanie Joly said Thursday that the country has finally recalled 41 of its diplomats from India as the Indian government threatened them of revoking their diplomatic immunity.
According to Joly, 41 of Canada's 62 diplomats in India have been removed, along with their dependents while exceptions have been made for 21 Canadian diplomats who will remain in India.
What did the foreign minister say?
“Forty one Canadian diplomats and their 42 dependents were in danger of having their immunity stripped on an arbitrary date and this would put their personal safety at risk," Joly said.
“Our diplomats and their families have now left."
Joly said removing diplomatic immunity is contrary to international law, and said for that reason Canada wouldn't threaten to do the same thing with Indian diplomats.
Strongly opposing India's stance, Joly said, "A unilateral revocation of the diplomatic privilege and immunity is contrary to international law and a clear violation of Geneva Convention on diplomatic relations. Threatening to do so is unreasonable and escalatory," Joly said.
The entire row over recalling diplomats initiated since India's Ministry of External Affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi called for a reduction in Canadian diplomats in India, saying they outnumbered India's staffing in Canada.
India-Canada Diplomatic Row
The diplomatic feud involving India and Canada originated from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's explosive allegations on Indian governmnet's involvement in orchestrating te assassination of Khakistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada.
For years, India had said that Nijjar, a Canadian citizen born in India, had links to terrorism, an allegation Nijjar denied.
India has accused Canada of harbouring separatists and “terrorists,” but dismissed the allegation of its involvement in the killing as “absurd" and has taken diplomatic steps to express its anger over the accusation.