A day after it was reported in the media that the Canadian High Commission had called the Border Security Force (BSF) “a notoriously violent paramilitary unit”, the north American nation goes into a damage control mode.
“I would like to stress that Canada has the highest regard for India’s democratic institutions and processes. Canada has great respect for India’s armed forces and related institutions,” Canada’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Catherine Loubier said in a statement mailed to Hindustan Times.
She also said said that “vibrant people-to-people” connections were one of the “greatest strengths” of the bilateral relations between India and Canada.
When asked whether any action would be taken against the official for making disparaging comments, the Canadian spokesperson said: “We are reviewing the situation. Due to privacy reasons we cannot comment further.”
The diplomatic gaffe took place when the Canadian High Commission rejected an immigration request from retired BSF head constable Fateh Singh Pandher (60), accusing the paramilitary unit of “systematic attacks on civilians” and said Pandher had not provided evidence of disassociating himself from the force.
Defending the move, the Canadian spokesperson said: “Decisions on visa applications are made by public servants following an independent process governed by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.”