Canada's allegations politically driven, there's degree of prejudice: MEA on diplomatic row
MEA said no specific information was ever shared by the Canadian government on the allegations that Trudeau levelled.
The ministry of external affairs on Thursday said Canada's allegations against India are politically driven. The statement came from MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi during the weekly media briefing at a time India and Canada's diplomatic ties are going through the roughest patch. Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged Indian involvement in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, wanted in India for years. The public allegations strained the India-Canada relationship with both countries expelling their diplomats. On Thursday, India's visa processing centre in Canada suspended services.
Bagchi confirmed that Canada shared no specific information regarding the allegations. "From our side, very specific evidence of criminal activities based on Canadian soil has been shared with the Canadian authorities on a regular basis but has not been acted upon," the MEA spokesperson said.
The allegations were raised by Trudeau with PM Modi when Trudeau was in India to attend the G20 summit and was rejected by PM Modi, the MEA reiterated.
Canada is providing safe havens to terrorists and at least 20-25 individuals were named by India, not recently, but over the years, but no action was taken, the MEA said.
On suspension of visa services in Canada
"We are aware of the security threats being faced by our high commission and consulates in Canada. This has disrupted their normal functioning. Accordingly, our high commission and consulates are temporarily unable to process visa applications. We will be reviewing the situation on a regular basis," the MEA spokesperson said. The e-visa services are also suspended, the MEA clarified.
The issue is not about travel to India, the MEA said as those who have valid visas, and documents can travel. The issue is of incitement to violence, the inaction of the Canadian authorities, and the creation of an environment that disrupts the functioning of the high commission and the consulates, the MEA spokesperson said.
'We have seen Canadian diplomatic interference in our internal affairs'
India has informed the Canadian government that there should be parity in strength and rank equivalence in mutual diplomatic presence, the MEA said. "Their numbers here are very much higher than India's diplomatic presence...We have seen Canadian diplomatic interference in our internal affairs. This is being taken into account and parity is being sought in rank and diplomatic strength. We think Canadian numbers will go down. Discussions are going on," Bagchi said.