Sending a strong message of protest, the Canadian High Commissioner to India Joseph Caron was summoned by the Ministry of External Affairs twice on Thursday.
The latest provocation from Canada was that a serving Intelligence Bureau official, who was to accompany Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his trip to Canada for the G-20 summit, was denied a visa. The IB official was granted a visa only after the MEA took up the matter firmly.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krisha had reacted strongly to Canada's disparaging comments about the BSF and IB and asked the North American country to deal with the matter seriously. It was after this that the MEA took the unprecedented step of summoning an envoy twice, ministry sources told HT.
With the PM’s visit slated for next month, when he will also meet Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canada has also conveyed to the Government that their Immigration and Citizenship Minister is viewing the matter seriously and that they have highest regards for institutions of Indian Government.
“Immigration manages visas. Minister Kenney’s (Jason Kenney) office is looking at the situation,” said Catherine Loubier, Canadian Foreign Minister’s spokesperson in an email.
MEA sources also maintain that Canada is a friendly country and in view of the forthcoming visit of the Prime Minister, efforts should be on to make sure there is no “diplomatic discomfort”.
The Home Ministry too expressed its displeasure. “We have written to the external affairs ministry about it. If the Canadians don’t respond, we will retaliate,” Home Secretary G.K. Pillai told IANS.