Canada’s foreign minister Stephane Dion has irked New Delhi with a tweet in which he equated India and Pakistan in the wake of tensions along the LoC.
In that tweet, Dion said, “Canada calls on #India and #Pakistan to address growing regional tensions through return to peaceful dialogue.”
While his department has not formally issued a statement following the Indian surgical strikes along the LoC, this tweet was sent from Dion’s official account.
The minister’s tweet has disappointed India, especially since relations between the two countries are in the midst of an upswing. Sources said the tweet “could have been couched better” instead of “equating an aggressor and a defendant.”
“Canada is a strategic partner and there should be appreciation of our sensitivities and concerns,” a source said.
The tweet also cast a shadow on what is developing into an “excellent equation”, sources said. India has kept Canada informed of developments since the Uri attack and the consequent surgical strikes.
Dion had earlier reacted to the Uri attack, again via a tweet, and his sentiments had been appreciated by India: “Appalled by today’s attack on Indian forces in #Uri. My deepest sympathies to victims’ families & friends & quick recovery to those injured.”
Dion’s new tweet may have come at a particularly inopportune time as the first visits of Indian ministers since the Justin Trudeau government came to power, began last week. While minister of state for commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman completed a productive visit on Friday, finance minister Arun Jaitley will be in Toronto for a series of meetings, including likely interactions with his Canadian counterpart Bill Morneau and Canada’s minister of international trade Chrystia Freeland.
The two sides are also working on a visit of Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau to India, after he accepted an invitation from his counterpart Narendra Modi.