Canada pulls 41 diplomats from India

20 Oct 2023 11:24am
A man walks past the High Commission of Canada in New Delhi on September 19, 2023. A senior Canadian diplomat was ordered to leave India on September 19, New Delhi's foreign ministry said, hours after Ottawa expelled an Indian diplomat over the killing of a Sikh separatist near Vancouver. - Photo by AFP
A man walks past the High Commission of Canada in New Delhi on September 19, 2023. A senior Canadian diplomat was ordered to leave India on September 19, New Delhi's foreign ministry said, hours after Ottawa expelled an Indian diplomat over the killing of a Sikh separatist near Vancouver. - Photo by AFP
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TRENTON - Canada has pulled 41 diplomats from India after New Delhi threatened to strip them of diplomatic immunity, Foreign Minister Melanie Joly announced at a press conference Thursday.

Joly said having their "immunity stripped” by India on the stated deadline of Friday (Oct 20) would put the Canadian diplomats at risk, reported Anadolu Agency.

"This means our diplomats and their families have left,” she said. Diplomatic immunity is a shield that protects diplomats serving in other countries from being arrested and is guaranteed under international law.

However, Joly said Canada will not reciprocate and India’s diplomats will not be expelled and will continue to enjoy immunity.

Relations between the two countries nose-dived Sept 18 after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly accused India of being involved in the assassination of Canadian Sikh Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

He was gunned down by two masked assailants in the parking lot of a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 19. No arrests have been made.

Trudeau called for India to cooperate in an investigation of the murder and Joly said at Thursday’s press conference that Canada "will continue to engage with India.”

That leaves Canada with 21 diplomats to handle consular services in India, which will negatively impact services provided there, said Minister of Immigration Marc Miller, who held the joint press conference with Joly. - BERNAMA

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