Diplomatic standoff: Canada shuffles diplomatic staff from India to Singapore, Malaysia
Global Affairs Canada had previously mentioned that some of its diplomats had received threats on various social media platforms and was, therefore, assessing its staff complement in India.
In response to an ongoing diplomatic dispute between India and Canada, it has been reported that Canada has relocated a significant portion of its diplomats stationed in India, particularly those outside of New Delhi, to either Kuala Lumpur or Singapore.
This development follows a recent request from India, which asked Canada to withdraw a substantial number of its diplomats from its missions in India as part of efforts to achieve parity in diplomatic staffing levels.
This diplomatic row was triggered by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegations linking Indian agents to the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June. India dismissed these allegations as "absurd" and "motivated" and responded by expelling a senior Canadian diplomat, mirroring Ottawa's earlier expulsion of an Indian official in connection with the case.
The Indian government has set October 10 deadline for Canada to reduce its diplomatic staff in India to a level equivalent to the number of Indian diplomats in Canada. Although initial reports suggested that 41 diplomats might need to leave, sources cited by CTV News clarified that the request specifically pertains to achieving parity. As a result, a majority of Canadian diplomats working in India, outside of New Delhi, have been relocated to Kuala Lumpur or Singapore.
Global Affairs Canada had previously mentioned that some of its diplomats had received threats on various social media platforms and was, therefore, assessing its staff complement in India. This decision to temporarily adjust staff presence in India came shortly after Prime Minister Trudeau accused the Indian government of involvement in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
On India's side, it was asserted that Canada must reduce its diplomatic presence in the country to achieve parity in staffing levels. India also alleged that some Canadian diplomats were interfering in its internal matters. This ongoing dispute further strains the relationship between the two nations regarding the killing of the Khalistani terrorist Nijjar.
India's Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, emphasized that discussions are underway to determine the modalities for achieving mutual diplomatic presence. He indicated that India would not reconsider its position on this issue and stressed the goal of achieving parity in diplomatic staffing levels.
While the number of Canadian diplomats in India is approximately 60, New Delhi reportedly seeks a reduction of at least three dozen diplomats from Canada.