Canada Relocates Diplomats from India to Singapore and Malaysia Amid Diplomatic Tensions: CTV News Report

Canada Relocates Diplomats from India to Singapore and Malaysia Amid Diplomatic Tensions: CTV News Report

Toronto, Canada: In response to mounting diplomatic tensions, Canada has relocated a significant portion of its diplomats stationed in India, particularly those outside of New Delhi, to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. This move comes after India issued a deadline of October 10 for Canada to balance its diplomatic staff numbers, following a dispute sparked by allegations surrounding the killing of terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. CTV News, a privately-owned Canadian television network, reported on this development. The tensions escalated when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau linked Indian agents to the killing of Khalistani terrorist Nijjar in June, a claim that India vehemently rejected as “absurd” and “motivated.” In retaliation, India expelled a senior Canadian diplomat, mirroring Ottawa’s earlier expulsion of an Indian official in connection with the case.

The Indian government demanded that Canada reduce its diplomatic presence in India to match the number of Indian diplomats in Canada, according to sources cited by CTV News. While initial reports suggested that 41 diplomats might need to leave, the sources clarified that the requirement is focused on achieving parity. “A majority of the Canadian diplomats working in India outside of New Delhi have been evacuated to either Kuala Lumpur or Singapore,” the report stated.

Global Affairs Canada, the department responsible for managing the country’s diplomatic and consular relations, had previously expressed concern over threats to its staff on various social media platforms. Consequently, they decided to temporarily adjust staff presence in India, shortly after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s accusations against the Indian government in connection with the murder.

India has insisted that Canada reduce its diplomatic presence to attain parity in strength and has accused some Canadian diplomats of meddling in New Delhi’s internal affairs. This ongoing dispute has strained relations between the two nations over the killing of the ‘Khalistani’ terrorist Nijjar.

India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, emphasized that discussions regarding the modalities of achieving mutual diplomatic presence are underway. He indicated that India would not reconsider its position on the matter, stating that Canada’s diplomatic presence in India significantly exceeds India’s presence in Canada, necessitating a reduction to achieve diplomatic parity.

However, Bagchi refrained from confirming reports that New Delhi has set an October 10 deadline for Ottawa to reduce its diplomatic staff in India, adding, “I would not like to get into the details of diplomatic conversation.” It is reported that there are approximately 60 Canadian diplomats in India, and New Delhi is requesting that Ottawa reduce this number by at least three dozen.

When asked whether Canada has shared any information or evidence related to Nijjar’s killing with India, Bagchi referred to remarks made by India’s External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar, who indicated that India is open to reviewing specific or relevant information if shared with New Delhi.