India Expels Canadian Diplomat in Retaliatory action

In a recent development, India and Canada have engaged in a diplomatic row, with both countries expelling senior diplomats amid allegations of interference in each other’s affairs. This exchange of actions began when Canada asked an Indian official to leave the country, citing suspicions of an Indian connection to the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June.

On India’s part, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) summoned the High Commissioner of Canada to India and conveyed the government’s decision to expel a senior Canadian diplomat based in India. This diplomat has been given five days to leave India. The MEA expressed growing concern over what it sees as Canadian diplomats meddling in India’s internal affairs and participating in activities perceived as anti-India.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had earlier suggested in Parliament that there might be a “potential link” between Indian government agents and the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. However, India swiftly dismissed these assertions as “baseless.”

In response to India’s move, Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly announced the expulsion of a “senior Indian diplomat” from Canada, marking a tit-for-tat reaction in this diplomatic dispute.

One crucial aspect of this situation is the presence of a significant Sikh community in Canada, numbering over 770,000 individuals, which accounts for about 2% of the country’s total population. Canada has expressed concerns about the safety and security of its Sikh citizens and has taken measures to investigate the alleged link between Indian government agents and Nijjar’s killing.

Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc disclosed that high-ranking Canadian officials, including the national security adviser and the director of the Canadian intelligence agency, have traveled to India. Their mission is to engage with their Indian counterparts and present evidence to Indian intelligence agencies regarding the allegations of a potential link between Indian agents and the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly emphasized the seriousness of these allegations, stating, “If proven true, this would be a great violation of our sovereignty and of the most basic rule of how countries deal with each other.” This sentiment underscores the gravity of the situation and the need for both countries to address the allegations and maintain diplomatic relations.

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