In a display of diplomatic finesse, India has chosen to maintain an open approach in the face of escalating tensions with Canada. Despite the sharp deterioration in bilateral relations, New Delhi has decided against implementing any measures to restrict imports or investments from Ottawa, according to a report by the esteemed Reuters news agency.
This diplomatic rift between India and Canada reached a critical juncture when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in September, made startling allegations linking Indian intelligence agencies to the Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s shooting. The ensuing fallout has had far-reaching consequences.
Canada, in response, temporarily suspended in-person operations in key Indian cities, including Bengaluru, Chandigarh, and Mumbai. Furthermore, visa applicants from India can anticipate delays in processing times over the coming months, exacerbating the diplomatic tension.
In a move to maintain essential services, Canada’s high commission in New Delhi will continue offering in-person consular services, albeit with reduced personnel.
Notably, Canada, in a decisive measure, withdrew 41 diplomats and their 42 family members from India. This development follows India’s call for a reduction in Canadian diplomats within its borders, a demand rooted in the ongoing diplomatic feud.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has stated that in response to India’s intent to unilaterally strip diplomatic immunities from Canadian diplomats and dependents, the number of IRCC employees in India will be reduced from 27 to 5. This workforce reduction is expected to impact processing times but is unlikely to halt essential functions.
A significant portion of applications from India is processed outside the country, with 89% of them handled through the global network. The remaining five Canada-based IRCC staff in India will focus on tasks necessitating an in-country presence, including urgent processing, visa issuance, risk assessment, and supervision of key partners.
In conclusion, India’s restrained response in the face of diplomatic challenges showcases its commitment to maintaining diplomatic channels and preserving essential services. This measured approach is a testament to the country’s diplomatic maturity in navigating complex international relations.