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Monday, Feb 26, 2024

India-Canada news Highlights: ‘Punjabis settled in Canada will be hit by suspension of visa services’

India-Canada news Highlights: Check out latest updates on developments regarding India and Canada bilateral relations following Trudeau's allegations.
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, (L) walks past India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, (R)
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, (L) walks past India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, (R)

India-Canada news Highlights: This week started off with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegation that there is a ‘potential link’ between Indian government agents and the killing of pro-Khalistan terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June, which mounted the already sour bilateral relations between New Delhi and Ottawa. India outrightly refused the allegations by calling them ‘absurd and motivated’. A series of retaliatory actions followed after Trudeau's claim, including the booting out of top officials of both countries from India and Canada....Read More

As a recent tit-for-tat action, India released a travel warning for its citizens who are travelling to Canada asking them to exercise ‘utmost caution’ due to growing anti-India activities and hate crimes.

Although the United States reacted to the allegations saying White House is ‘deeply concerned’ after Trudeau's claims, the closest allies of Canada, including the US, had earlier rejected its request to publicly condemn the killing of separatist leader Nijjar.

Follow all the updates here:
Sep 21, 2023 10:56 PM IST

Punjabis settled in Canada will be hit by suspension of visa services: Majithia

Senior Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia on Thursday asked the Centre to review its decision to suspend visa services for Canadians, saying it will be a big blow to the families of Punjabis settled in that country.

India on Thursday announced temporarily suspending the issuance of visas to Canadian citizens in view of "security threats" faced by its high commission and consulates in Canada, amid an escalating diplomatic row over Ottawa's allegations relating to the killing of a Khalistani separatist on Canadian soil.

The row erupted following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegations of a "potential" involvement of Indian agents in the killing of a Khalistani separatist in Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June. India has rejected the charge as absurd. (ANI)

Sep 21, 2023 9:38 PM IST

Trudeau reiterates Indian govt to takes allegations 'seriously'

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau says, "I call upon the Govt of India to work with us, to take seriously these allegations and to allow justice to follow its course."

Sep 21, 2023 8:32 PM IST

Justin Trudeau's liberal party was getting help from China at different points in elections: Canadian journalist

Daniel Bordman, Senior Contributor to The National Telegraph told ANI, "Trying to decipher the motivations of Justin Trudeau can be, a maddening task at times, to figure out why he's done. There is no logical explanation. There's no reasonable explanation. There's no good foreign policy explanation... So if you wanna have some Canadian context about what's going on and why he may have done this, here's what I think is maybe the the leading theory we can say as to why Trudeau has started to fight with India. In Canada, we have this big, big spectre of foreign interference from China. That's a major scandal right now. It's Justin Trudeau's liberal party, was getting help from the CCP at different points in elections... It's a whole big thing that we need an investigation into. So in order to shift the spectrum from Chinese foreign interference, we have a story in Canada, which is essentially a story about Pakistani foreign interference, being framed as a story of Indian foreign interference to cover up the real story, which is Chinese interference. This is the context..."

Sep 21, 2023 7:46 PM IST

ICYMI | Take action against those facing terrorism charges, India tells Canada

Asking Canada to take action against those facing charges related to terrorism, India on Thursday said that Ottawa’s response to its requests for extradition of anti-India elements has not been helpful.

Responding to a query at the regular media briefing, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that Canada should not become a safe haven for those involved in terror activities.

"Safe haven is being provided in Canada, we want the Canadian government to not do so and take action against those who have terrorism charges or send them here to face justice," Bagchi said.

ANI

Sep 21, 2023 7:03 PM IST

Families of Indians living in Canada worried amid strained diplomatic ties

Amid strains in ties between New Delhi and Ottawa over the killing of a Khalistani leader, families of those who are either studying or working in Canada are worried and demanded that both nations resolve the issue amicably.

India on Thursday "suspended till further notice" its visa services in Canada. The move comes amid the escalating diplomatic row that erupted following Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau's allegations of a "potential" involvement of Indian agents in the killing of a Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June. India has rejected the charge as absurd.

The escalating diplomatic row between India and Canada has left many families in Punjab anxious.

Canada is one of the preferred countries for people from Punjab to study and settle down.

Rishipal, a local shopkeeper in Kapurthala, said that he is worried about the safety of his daughter, who went to Canada eight months ago on a study visa. (PTI)

Sep 21, 2023 5:32 PM IST

“No evidence shared by Canada…”: India on Trudeau administration’s claims over Nijjar killing

Amid the ongoing diplomatic row between India and Canada, the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said that no information has been shared by Canada regarding the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

"We are willing to look at any specific information that is provided to us, but so far we have received no specific information from Canada," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday answering queries.

"From our side, specific evidence about criminal activities by individuals based on Canadian soil has been shared with Canada but not acted upon…Yes, I do think there is a degree of prejudice here. They have made allegations and taken action on them. To us, it seems that these allegations by the government of Canada are primarily politically driven," Bagchi added. (ANI)

Sep 21, 2023 4:28 PM IST

‘Security threats being faced by our High Commission and Consulates in Canada,’ MEA on visa suspension for Canada

On Visa services in Canada, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi says, "You 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..."

Sep 21, 2023 4:09 PM IST

Akali Dal leader Badal meets Shah; says Punjabis in panic over worsening India-Canada ties

Amid strains in India-Canada ties, Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday met Home Minister Amit Shah and hoped for a quick resolution to disputes between the two countries, noting that Punjabis in large numbers live there and the deteriorating relations have left them in a state of panic.

Badal told reporters after the meeting that it is very disturbing to hear of the woes of Punjabis, including a large number of Sikhs, because of the worsening relations between the two countries.

"There is a sense of panic among Punjabis. Both governments, India's as well as Canada's, should find a solution as soon as possible," he said.

With India repeatedly conveying its concerns to Canada over Khalistani activities on its soil, Badal said Sikhs have been the most patriotic people who made maximum sacrifices during the independence struggle. The community should not be blamed for what a few persons do, he said. (PTI)

Sep 21, 2023 3:11 PM IST

Canada to 'adjust' number of diplomats in India as row escalates

Canada's High Commission said it would "adjust" diplomat numbers in India and the South Asian nation suspended visa processing in Canada Thursday as a row between Ottawa and New Delhi deepens.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has demanded India treat with "utmost seriousness" allegations that Indian agents played a role in the June murder of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar near Vancouver.

The fallout prompted tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions and a forceful denial from India, which said any suggestion it played a role in Nijjar's killing was "absurd", sending strained relations between the world's most populous country and G7 member Canada to a new low. (AFP)

Sep 21, 2023 1:38 PM IST

India-Canada news LIVE updates: Dropped for brief moment, visa stay notice for Canadians reappears

BLS International, which runs the visa application centres in Canada, first put out a notice which says visa services for Canadians travelling to India have been suspended for indefinite period. Hours later, the notice was dropped for a brief moment on its website before it reappeared.

Sep 21, 2023 12:57 PM IST

Opinion: Why India vs Canada is no more a bilateral play

  1.  The persistence of the Khalistan movement in the Sikh diaspora has long complicated India’s ties with the West. But it took a sharp downturn after the 2020-21 farmers' protests, and played out in a series of surreal developments ranging from the sudden arrival and arrest in Punjab of Sikh radical Amritpal Singh Sandhu this April, to violent protests at Indian diplomatic missions across western capitals, followed by systematic, and near-simultaneous, killings of various Khalistan militants in Pakistan and Canada coupled with the mysterious death of another in the United Kingdom (UK).
  2.  Canada is pinning one of these killings on India. Such backstage covert ops are difficult to trace and assess for obvious reasons. But Canada’s decision to escalate it to the diplomatic frontstage, similar to how London reacted when the Russian dissident, Sergei Skripal, was poisoned, raises important questions.
  3.  One, why? The urge to explain this as Trudeau’s attempt to appease the Canadian Sikh “vote-bank” is logical but inadequate. There are deeper, structural causes at play with long-term implications. Two, what next? The ongoing investigation and a potential public inquiry imply a long, bruising journey ahead for all parties involved.
  4.  To understand Ottawa’s decision, one needs to unpack the signalling and underlying political sources of such a bilateral schism. If Ottawa’s allegations are correct, this is arguably the first ever (known) covert assassination by Indian intelligence on western soil. Given how it was executed—the target was shot by unknown gunmen—it seems that little effort was made to conceal signatures. In this scenario, India’s signal to Canada remains unmistakeable—if you don’t act against Khalistan militants, or belittle our security concerns, we’ll take action. Undoubtedly, this makes many in India jubilant.
  5.   But Ottawa’s countersignal is serious. Ottawa’s core audience is not New Delhi, but its Five-Eyes allies (Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US). More than seeking to deter India from using similar methods in future, Canada is telling its allies that there are limits to the West’s alignment with India. To think that muted responses from other western countries, most of which are investing in India to counter China, means that India will not incur costs is erroneous. In going public, Canada has emboldened a vast reservoir of silent India sceptics in the western power corridors. And India’s response to the Canadian allegations is fuelling, not abating, these concerns. Read here to know more
Sep 21, 2023 12:34 PM IST

India-Canada news LIVE updates: Khalistan connection of Sukha Duneka – gangster killed in inter-gang rivalry

Gangster Sukha Duneka was a close associate of Arsh Dalla, designated terrorist of Khalistan Tiger Force. Both of them attempted to revive the outfit after Nijjar's murder. Read more about him here

Sep 21, 2023 12:21 PM IST

India handed over list pro-Khalistan elements to Canada in 2018, had Nijjar's name in it

  1.  During Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's visit to Amritsar in 2018, India had handed him over a list of nine Khalistani operatives that also had extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on it. The tensions between India and Canada heightened on Monday after Trudeau alleged India's possible involvement in the killing of Nijjar.
  2.  This was followed by Canada expelling an Indian diplomat from the country. India rejected the allegations made by Canada, dubbing them as "absurd" and "motivated" and in a tit-for-tat action expelled a senior Canadian diplomat from the country on Tuesday.
  3.  Khalistan Tiger Force chief Nijjar was gunned down outside a Gurdwara, in a parking area in Canada's Surrey, British Columbia on June 18.
  4.  The operatives have been booked for various crimes including terror activities. They were Gurjeet Singh Cheema, Gurpreet Singh, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Gurjinder Singh Pannu and Malkeet Singh alias Fauji and others. However, Canada is yet to take any major action against them.

Check the full list here 

Sep 21, 2023 12:02 PM IST

India-Canada news LIVE updates: Former J&K DGP warns Trudeau over his remark

Former J&K DGP SP Vaid warned the Canadian Government against the spread of terrorism in the country. He said that the Canadian PM was committing the same mistakes made by Indira Gandhi in the 1980s. Vaid remarked that the next Khalistan, if formed, will be in Canada and not India. This comes as India-Canada relations have worsened over the Canadian PM's soft approach to Khalistan separatism.

Sep 21, 2023 11:22 AM IST

India-Canada news LIVE updates: New Delhi suspends visa services for Canadians amid heightened tensions

  1. New Delhi has suspended visa services for Canadian nationals indefinitely amid heightened tensions between the two countries even as Ottawa said it was temporarily adjusting staff presence in India to ensure the safety of diplomats following threats received on social media.
  2.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegation of Indian involvement in Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s killing heightened the tensions and triggered a diplomatic row, and tit-for-tat expulsions of senior diplomats this week.
  3.  No formal announcement of the suspension of visa services was made even as BLS International, which runs the visa application centres in Canada, posted a message on its Canadian website in this regard.
  4.  “Important notice from the Indian Mission: Due to operational reasons, with effect from 21st September 2023 [Thursday], Indian visa services have been suspended till further notice.”
  5.  An Indian official confirmed the suspension but refused to comment further. “The language is clear and it says what it is intended to say.” This is the first time India has suspended visas since the Covid-19 pandemic. Read here to know more
Sep 21, 2023 10:54 AM IST

India-Canada news LIVE updates: What a pro-Khalistan group told Hindu-Canadians?

  1.  Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a pro-Khalistan organisation banned in India in 2019, has threatened Hindus of Indian origin and asked them to leave Canada for supporting the country of their origin and “promoting violence” by celebrating Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s killing.
  2.  “Indo-Hindu leave Canada; go to India. You not only support India but you are also supporting the suppression of speech and expression of pro-Khalistan Sikhs,” said SFJ’s legal counsel Gurpatwant Pannun in a video, which has gone viral. Pannun has been designated as a terrorist in India.
  3.  The video surfaced as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday claimed there was a “potential link” between Indian government agents and the killing of Nijjar in June and triggered tit-for-tat expulsions of senior diplomats.
  4.  Hours after India on Tuesday dismissed his claim as “absurd and motivated”, Trudeau insisted Canada was not looking to “provoke or escalate”.
  5.  Vijay Jain, a spokesperson for Canadian Hindus for Harmony, expressed concern over Pannun’s threat. “We are now seeing full-scale Hinduphobia out across the board.” Read here to know more
Sep 21, 2023 10:25 AM IST

India-Canada news LIVE updates: Trudeau refused presidential suite at hotel during G20 Summit

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, during his visit to India for the G20 Summit, refused to stay at the presidential suite, and stayed at a regular room in the same hotel, informed sources.

Notably, presidential suites are specially designed by Indian security agencies as per security protocols.

Trudeau stayed at the Lalit Hotel in the national capital during his stay for the G20 Summit.

However, despite being offered a presidential suite, his delegation refused to stay there and instead stayed at a regular room in the same hotel, sources said.

Every global leader who had come to India for the G20 was provided VVIP hotels with the presidential suite, with complete security protocols.

According to sources, Trudeau’s delegation told Indian security agencies that this decision is being taken due to cost considerations. However, the Indian agencies have said that there is no information about the exact reason behind Trudeau's staying in a normal room. (ANI)

Sep 21, 2023 9:52 AM IST

India-Canada news LIVE updates: ‘Hindu-Canadians are fearful’, says leader from Trudeau's party

Amid growing diplomatic tensions between India and Canada after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged New Delhi of being involved in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June, Canadian MP Chandra Arya condemned ‘targetted attack’ at the Hindu community in the country and urged Hindu-Canadians to remain calm but vigilant. He pointed out the so-called referendum being conducted by pro-Khalistan group Sikh For Justice and said that its president Gurpatwant Singh Pannun asked members of Hindu community to leave Canada. Read more

Sep 21, 2023 9:21 AM IST

Canada marks itself ‘safe country’ after India advised caution to its citizen

  1.  The Canadian government on Wednesday discarded India's travel warning where Union external affairs ministry asked Indians who are planning to travel to Canada to excercise ‘utmost caution’ amid growing anti-India activities and hate crimes. Rejecting New Delhi's warning, Canadian public safety minister Dominic Leblanc said Canada is a safe country, as reported by Reuters.
  2.  India's travel warning reflects the worsening relations between New Delhi and Canada after its Prime Minsiter Justin Trudeau claimed that there is a ‘potential link’ between Indian government agensts and the murder of pro-Khalistan terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June. The advisory said there were also threats against members of the Indian community who ‘oppose the anti-India agenda’.
  3.  “In view of growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada, all Indian nationals there and those contemplating travel are urged to exercise utmost caution,” the advisory added.
  4.  India's travel advisory is also seen as a tit-for-tat response to Canada's travel information which was updated earlier amid growing tension between both the countries. It advised travellers to excercise ‘high degree of caution’ while in India due to the ‘threat of terrorist attacks’. Read here to know more
Sep 21, 2023 8:34 AM IST

India's riposte to Canada: ‘Share evidence on Nijjar, not accusations’

  1. The Indian government has responded with alacrity to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegation that the country was involved in the killing of Canadian citizen and Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on June 19 in Surrey, Vancouver, seeking evidence from Ottawa, offering to cooperate in the investigation, and briefing its key allies about both the emptiness of Trudeau’s charge and Canada’s tolerance and encouragement of terrorists and separatists working against India and Indian interests.
  2.  According to several senior officials, the response, across several dimensions, follows a meeting of top foreign ministry and national security officials in the new Parliament building on Wednesday morning.
  3.  At one level, this response has taken the form of demanding that Canada come true on the allegation against Indian intelligence agencies.
  4.  At another, it has taken the form of a message, using diplomatic channels, to Ottawa that India is ready to join the investigation in Canada, contingent on the evidence.
  5.  And at a third, it has taken the form of an outreach by the country’s national security planners to India’s key allies in the West including the US and to Australia that Indian intelligence agencies had nothing to do with the killing and that the charges are baseless and motivated by local political calculus. Read here to know more
Sep 21, 2023 8:18 AM IST

India-Canada diplomatic fallout draws attention towards Trudeau's G20 conduct

Here is a recap of at Trudeau's conduct at the Summit that has generated fresh media attention:

  1.  PM Modi tried to grasp Trudeau's hand for a handshake in a wreath-laying ceremony at Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation site during the G20 Summit but Trudeau pulled away, reported Toronto-based publisher City News Everywhere.
  2. However, several leaders including Dutch PM Mark Rutte, UK PM Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron shook hands with Modi. Trudeau was the only leader to cut short a longer handshake, according to the report.
  3.  Asked about the exchange, Trudeau said people could read into it what they wish, the report said.
  4.  Trudeau skipped the President of India’s reception dinner, which was held for G20 guests and leaders. Even the Prime Minister's office refused to provide a reason for Trudeau missing the dinner.
  5.  Trudeau also skipped attending the launch of the Global Biofuel Alliance during the G20 Summit, launched by PM Modi, US President Joe Biden, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio, Argentina's Alberto Fernández, Italian PM Giorgia Meloni.
  6.  Trudeau's aircraft suffered a technical snag after the G20 summit which led to him, along with the Canadian delegation, to stay for two more days in India.
  7.  Yet, Trudeau chose to stay in his room at the Lalit Hotel in New Delhi after his Airbus plane developed a snag. He did not have any engagement with the Indian government on Monday.
  8.  The ministry of external affairs confirmed that they had received no request for any other official engagements and the office of the minister of state who was assigned to receive Trudeau, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, also confirmed that his duty was simply to receive the Canadian PM at the airport on his arrival.
  9.  During his meet with Trudeau after the summit, PM Modi conveyed to the former about India's concerns regarding the continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada as they are promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats and threatening the Indian community in that country.
  10.  The Ministry of External Affairs said Modi expressed great concerns to Trudeau regarding “continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada. Read here to know more
Sep 21, 2023 7:25 AM IST

India-Canada news LIVE updates: Ottawa fails to persual its allies – G7 nations – to back its claims

  1.  Canada has failed to persuade its fellow G7 countries to refer to Ottawa’s allegations about the possible role of “agents” of the government of India in the killing of Sikh terrorist, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, on its soil, in a statement, people familiar with the development said.
  2.  In a statement issued by Japan’s foreign minister, Kamikawa Yoko — Tokyo currently chairs the grouping — on Tuesday, the grouping reaffirmed its strong and critical position on Russia’s war in Ukraine, laid out its policy on competition and cooperation with China, and outlined actions to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific. But it did not carry any critical reference to India.
  3.  Among the G7 members, India has extremely close and cordial bilateral relations with the US, Japan and France, while its ties with Germany, Italy and United Kingdom have improved in recent years.
  4.  Given Canada’s status as an ally and a close neighbour, the US, which leads the G7 bloc, has taken what is seen as a measured and calibrated position on the issue. Read here for more
Sep 21, 2023 7:14 AM IST

US ‘coordinating’ with Canada, ‘engaging’ with India amid diplomatic standoff

The United States has dismissed reports of rebuffing Canada over the allegation of India's involvement of killing separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, and said that White House is ‘coordinating and consulting’ with Ottawa and ‘engaging’ with New Delhi.

  1. White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said, "Reports that we rebuffed Canada in any way on this are flatly false. We are coordinating and consulting with Canada closely on this issue. This is a serious matter and we support Canada’s ongoing law enforcement efforts. We are also engaging the Indian government."
  2.  The report highlighted the diplomatic challenges faced by the Biden administration as it seeks to maintain strong relations with both India and Canada.
  3. Earlier, US National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby said ‘serious allegations’ were levelled by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau against India in the killing of Nijjar, adding that the US wanted the matter handled in a 'transparent' way.
Sep 21, 2023 7:04 AM IST

India-Canada news LIVE updates: US asks New Delhi to cooperate in Nijjar killing probe

The White House is "deeply concerned" about allegations that Indian agents were potentially involved in the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in Canada and encourages India to cooperate in any investigation, national security spokesman John Kirby said on Wednesday. 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday that domestic intelligence agencies were actively pursuing credible allegations tying New Delhi's agents to the shooting of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, 45, in British Columbia in June.

"We are deeply concerned" Kirby said of the allegations. He added, "We encourage India to fully cooperate."

Sep 21, 2023 6:57 AM IST

India-Canada news LIVE updates: New Delhi issues travel warning; asks to ‘exercise utmost caution’

  1.  A day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegation of Indian involvement in the killing of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar triggered a diplomatic row, India advised its citizens in Canada to exercise “utmost caution” due to growing anti-India activities and hate crimes.
  2.  In an advisory aimed at Indian nationals and students in Canada and citizens planning to travel to the country, the external affairs ministry said there were also threats against members of the Indian community who “oppose the anti-India agenda”.
  3.  The advisory reflected the worsening bilateral relationship, which deteriorated over the Canadian side’s perceived indifference to India’s calls for action against pro-Khalistan elements operating from Canadian soil.
  4.  “In view of growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada, all Indian nationals there and those contemplating travel are urged to exercise utmost caution,” the advisory said.
  5.  “Recently, threats have particularly targeted Indian diplomats and sections of the Indian community who oppose the anti-India agenda,” it added.