On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that millions of people in both nations were finding it difficult to live their regular lives as a result of the Indian government’s crackdown on Canadian diplomats.
A day earlier, Trudeau had said that Canada had removed 41 ambassadors due to an Indian threat to revoke their status unilaterally.
The suggestion made by Trudeau last month that Indian spies may have been involved in the June murder of a Sikh separatist leader in Canada has infuriated New Delhi and it refutes the claim.
“The Indian government is making it unbelievably difficult for life as usual to continue for millions of people in India and in Canada. And they’re doing it by contravening a very basic principle of diplomacy. It’s something that has me very concerned for the wellbeing and happiness of millions of Canadians who trace their origins to the Indian subcontinent,” Trudeau stated to reporters at a press conference in Brampton, Ontario that was televised.
According to Trudeau, the removal of certain Canadian ambassadors will hinder trade and travel, as well as provide challenges for Indian students studying in Canada. Five percent of Canadians, or around two million people, are of Indian descent. By far the greatest source of international students in Canada is India, accounting for about 40% of study permit holders.
The notion that it had broken the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations was previously denied by the Indian Foreign Ministry. “The state of our bilateral relations, the much higher number of Canadian diplomats in India, and their continued interference in our internal affairs warrant parity in mutual diplomatic presence in New Delhi and Ottawa,” it said in a statement. Canada now has 21 diplomats remaining in India.
On Friday, the US State Department supported Canada in the ambassador issue. “We have urged the Indian government not to insist upon a reduction in Canada’s diplomatic presence and to cooperate in the ongoing Canadian investigation,” said spokesperson Matthew Miller.