India sets Oct 10 deadline for Canada to withdraw 41 diplomats: Report
The Financial Times quoted an unidentified source as claiming that India had threatened to revoke the diplomatic immunity of diplomats who remain after October 10
Miffed by allegations that it was involved in the killing of a Canadian Sikh, India has told Canada to withdraw roughly 40 diplomats by October 10, a media report has claimed.
The Canadian and Indian governments offered no immediate comments on the Financial Times report that said the expulsion order pushes the diplomatic crisis between the two countries to a new low.
The Financial Times quoted an unidentified source as claiming that India had threatened to revoke the diplomatic immunity of diplomats who remain after October 10.
The crisis erupted when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a dramatic announcement in parliament that New Delhi may be linked to the murder of Harjeet Singh Nijjar, who India says is a wanted Khalistani terrorist.
New Delhi had previously said it wanted “parity” in the number and grade of diplomats each nation posts to the other.
Canada has several dozen more diplomats at its high commission in New Delhi than India has in Ottawa due to the big consular section needed for relatives of the roughly 1.3 million Canadians who claim Indian heritage, the report said.
According to the Financial Times, Canada has 62 diplomats in India and New Delhi has told Ottawa to reduce that by 41 people.
New Delhi announced a visa ban for Canadians the day after Trudeau made his bombshell claim on September 18.
The latest development is expected to complicate matters for Trudeau, who faces pressure at home to act while also trying to secure support from Western allies eager to foster relations with India to serve as a bulwark to China.
“Declaring more Canadian diplomats personae non grata wouldn’t help the situation and would make reducing the emotions associated with this disagreement more difficult,” Peter Boehm, chair of the Canadian Senate committee on foreign affairs and international trade, was quoted as saying.
India has rubbished the Canadian allegations that it was involved in Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s murder as “absurd”.
“The stand-off with India is a problem for Trudeau, whose popularity is waning during a cost of living crisis while his Liberal party gears up for elections due before October 2025,” the Financial Times said.
“Critics have charged Trudeau with pandering to Canada’s sizeable Sikh population and acting rashly.”