Didn't violate Vienna Convention: India hits back at Canada over exit of 41 diplomats
Canada earlier warned its citizens to observe caution “while in India because of possible anti-Canada protests as well as intimidation or harassment”
The Centre on Friday said that no international norms were violated in India seeking parity in the mutual diplomatic presence in New Delhi and Ottawa.
The statement came just hours after Canada withdrew 41 diplomats accusing India of violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. “We reject any attempt to portray the implementation of parity as a violation of international norms,” the external affairs ministry said in a statement.
“The state of our bilateral relations, the much higher number of Canadian diplomats in India, and their continued interference in our internal affairs warrant a parity in mutual diplomatic presence in New Delhi and Ottawa,” it added.
Canada tells citizens to 'observe caution'
Earlier in the day, after announcing withdrawal of its 41 diplomats from India, Canada warned its citizens to observe caution “while in India because of possible anti-Canada protests as well as intimidation or harassment”.
The warning came as part of an updated travel advisory that signalled a further low in bilateral relations ever since Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged an Indian link to the killing of a Sikh separatist in Vancouver.
“Exercise a high degree of caution in India due to the threat of terrorist attacks throughout the country,” the advisory issued by Canada said.
Foreign minister Melanie Joly earlier announced in Ottawa that 41 Canadian diplomats were returning home due to an Indian ultimatum that they will lose their diplomatic immunity if they remained in the country after October 20.
She said Canada was pausing temporarily all in-personal services at consulates until further notice.
The advisory, which followed Joly’s media briefing, said that following the “recent developments in Canada and in India”, there have been calls for protests and negative sentiments towards Canada in traditional and on social media.
“Demonstrations, including anti-Canada protests, could occur and Canadians may be subjected to intimidation or harassment,” it said.
'Don't share personal info'
The advisory urged Canadians to keep a low profile with strangers and not to share personal information with them in Delhi and the National Capital Region.
“Avoid crowded areas, including public transportation. You should always travel with someone and inform a friend or a family member of your travel plans.”
The advisory said the Canadian consulates in Bengaluru, Chandigarh and Mumbai were temporarily suspending in-person operations and that consular assistance would be available at its high commission in New Delhi.
After Trudeau went public with his accusation against India, New Delhi stopped processing visas for Canadians. India has denied as “absurd” charges that it was linked to the June killing of Harjeet Singh Nijjar.
The advisory said that petty crime such as pickpocketing and purse snatching was common in India.
It said criminals may target foreigners, especially in major cities and tourist areas. It advised its citizens not to carry large sums of money.
Last month, India told its citizens in Canada and those planning to travel there to exercise “utmost caution” due to what it said was growing anti-India activities and “politically-condoned” hate crimes there.