India asks Canada to withdraw 40 diplomats: Report

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Justin Trudeau with Narendra Modi.

New Delhi: India has issued a demand for Canada to withdraw around 40 diplomats by October 10 amidst an escalating diplomatic dispute between the two nations.

The dispute centers around Canada’s accusations that India was involved in the killing of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil, as reported by The Financial Times.

The report quoting a source said that India has warned that it may revoke diplomatic immunity for any Canadian diplomat who remains in the country beyond the specified deadline.

Canada currently has 62 diplomats stationed in India, and New Delhi has instructed them to reduce their presence to 41 at their high commission.

Peter Boehm, chair of the Canadian Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, expressed concerns about escalating the situation by declaring more Canadian diplomats “persona non grata.”

He argued that this would only heighten tensions in the ongoing disagreement.

Boehm noted that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is unlikely to back down in the face of these demands, suggesting that India perceives Canada as an easy target, considering Ottawa’s limited ability to retaliate due to its minority government.

He also pointed out the upcoming Indian election as a factor influencing the situation.

Trudeau, who leads the Liberal Party, shares power with Canadian Sikh leader Jagmeet Singh, who leads the New Democratic Party (NDP).

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.”

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