Amid Diplomatic Tensions India Suspends Canadian Visa Services
On September 21st, India suspended visa services in Canada citing ‘operational reasons’.The action is being taken while tensions between India and Canada after the killing of terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar from the Khalistani cause are rising. This occurs at a time when India and Canada are involved in an international controversy over Ottawa’s assertion that it has “credible allegations” connecting New Delhi agents to the death of pro-Khalistan Sikh militant Hardeep Singh Nijjar. The claim has been categorically refuted by the Indian government as being “absurd” and “motivated”.
BLS, a private agency that had been recruited to conduct initial reviews of Canadian visa applicants, announced that “Due to operational reasons”, Indian visa services have been suspended till further notice.
The action was taken one day after India issued a warning to its citizens travelling to or residing in Canada, advising them to “exercise utmost caution” in light of the “growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada.”
This week, senior ambassadors were expelled on a tit-for-tat basis after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed that India had killed Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. However, India rejected the charges as absurd and denied any involvement in the assassination.
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interaction with Justin Trudeau at the G20 Summit in Delhi last month, relations between India and Canada were already tight. Indian “strong concerns about continuing anti-Indian activities” were raised by the PM.
Meanwhile, potential Canadian immigrants are concerned that tense relations internationally would have an impact on their immigration procedure.Immigration experts responded to these inquiries by saying that, to boost the economy, Canada “doesn’t have a choice” except to welcome immigrants. There may, however, be a few ad hoc restrictions.
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