Canada has issued an updated travel advisory for its citizens in India, urging them to “stay vigilant and exercise caution” in light of an ongoing diplomatic dispute surrounding the assassination of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
The Canadian government’s advisory highlighted concerns related to recent developments in both Canada and India, including calls for protests and negative sentiments toward Canada on social media. The advisory cautioned Canadian citizens to remain vigilant.
Key points from the latest Canadian travel advisory included mentions of safety and security concerns related to protests and the suspension of visa services.
In response to the situation, India had previously issued a similar advisory for Indian nationals and students residing in Canada. India also announced the suspension of all visa categories, including e-visas, for Canadian nationals.
The Indian advisory was strongly worded, citing growing anti-India activities, politically-condoned hate crimes, and criminal violence in Canada. It urged Indian nationals to exercise utmost caution and advised against traveling to regions and venues in Canada where such incidents have occurred.
Canada, however, rejected India’s travel advisory and maintained that it is one of the safest countries in the world.
Punjab BJP Chief Sunil Jakhar had called on India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to establish a helpline for Indian students and NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) in Canada amid escalating diplomatic tensions.
There were reports suggesting that India may consider cancelling the registration of Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cardholders engaged in pro-Khalistan and anti-India activities.
Tensions between India and Canada intensified following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations that India was involved in the assassination of Nijjar, who was designated a terrorist in India. India vehemently rejected these allegations, dismissing them as “absurd and motivated.”