India resumes e-visa services for Canadian nationals after 2-month pause
Earlier in September, the Indian Mission in Canada suspended visa services for Canadian nationals until further notice, citing operational reasons.
India has resumed e-visa services for Canadian nationals after a pause of almost two months, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
Issuing of visas was suspended on September 21 following turmoil in the relationship between the two countries after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made unsubstantiated allegations of a “potential” Indian link in the killing of pro-Khalistani figure Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, British Columbia.
However, in October, India resumed visa services in certain categories for Canadian citizens, excluding tourist, employment, student, film, missionary and journalist visas.
The resumption of services for all categories of visas comes hours ahead of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's participation in the virtual G20 Leaders' Summit. Trudeau’s participation was confirmed by the Canadian prime minister’s office (PMO) as it features on his itinerary for November 22.
This would be the first time Trudeau would come face to face with Prime Minister Modi, albeit virtually, after ties between India and Canada took a nosedive following the former's allegations against New Delhi.
Trudeau claimed in the House of Commons that there were “credible allegations” of a potential link between Indian agents and the killing of Nijjar, a charge dismissed by New Delhi as "absurd" and "motivated". The Canadian prime minister has yet to provide any evidence of India’s involvement in the killing.
On November 12, Trudeau reaffirmed his allegation of Indian involvement in Nijjar's killing and accused New Delhi of violating the Vienna Convention by "kicking out" dozens of diplomats in a sharp escalation of a weeks-long crisis.
External affairs minister S Jaishankar last week asserted that India is not ruling out an investigation into Canada’s accusation, but highlighted that Ottawa is yet to provide evidence to back its claim. During an event organised at Wilton Park, an agency of the UK foreign office, in London, Jaishankar was asked if there is any evidence of Indian involvement in Nijjar’s killing.
“None,” he replied.
Noting that he had discussed the issue with his Canadian counterpart Melanie Joly, Jaishankar said: “And we have told them, if you have a reason to make such an allegation, please share the evidence with us. We are not ruling out an investigation and looking at anything which they may have to offer. They haven’t done so.”
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