‘Difficult phase’: Jaishankar on why India stopped Canadian visas | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘Difficult phase’: Jaishankar explains why India stopped Canadian visas

Oct 22, 2023 11:01 PM IST

India had suspended visa services in September for Canadian nationals indefinitely amid heightened tensions between the two countries.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar on Sunday said India's relation with Canada is going through a ‘difficult phase’, stating that New Delhi stopped issuing visas as it was not safe for its diplomats to go to work for issuing visas. 

“The relationship right now is going through a difficult phase. But I do want to say the problems we have are with a certain segment of Canadian politics and the policies which flow from that. Right now the big concern which people have is on visas. Some weeks ago, we stopped issuing visas in Canada because it was no longer safe for our diplomats to go to work to issue visas. So their safety and security was the primary reason we had to temporarily stop the issue of visas”, the minister was quoted by ANI as saying.

“We're tracking it very closely. My hope, my expectation is that situation would improve in the sense that our people would have greater confidence in being able to do their basic duty as diplomats. Because ensuring safety and security of diplomats is the most fundamental aspect of the Vienna Convention”, he added. 

India had suspended visa services in September for Canadian nationals indefinitely amid heightened tensions between the two countries.

“And right now that is what has in many ways been challenged in Canada that our people are not safe, our diplomats are not safe. So if we see progress there, I would like very much to resume the issue of visas. My hope would be that it would be something which should happen very soon”, Jaishankar added. 

Earlier, the minister had also explained why India had to adopt a hard stance, seeking diplomatic parity with the North American nation. Canada had to withdraw 41 of its diplomats ahead of the deadline set by India, failing which could have led to the diplomats lose diplomatic immunity. 

Jaishankar said India had to invoke diplomatic parity because of “continuous interference” in India's affairs by Canadian personnel. Canadian prime minister has cried foul over India's stringent action, calling it a violation of Geneva convention.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

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