Canadian Diplomats Misusing Powers to Give Visas to Khalistan Supporters: Top Govt Sources

Oct 23, 2023

Canadian diplomats are misusing their powers in different consulates across Chandigarh and other areas of Punjab to grant visas to people with known criminal antecedents who are Khalistani supporters, top government sources told CNN-News18 amid the face-off between India and Canada over the killing of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Sources said the diplomats have gone “very soft” on visas to people despite knowing their antecedents. They added that the visas are being extended just to support the Khalistan cause so that the momentum can gain maximum strength.

“The Canadian diplomats have done this deliberately and the idea was very clear — to give visa to take certain individuals out of India. Even people those who were involved in cases were given visa and sent to Canada by these diplomats,” the sources said.

Yet another bone of contention between the two countries is Canada’s refusal to help India with extradition in certain cases as well as investigations into those who have gone and taken shelter in Canada. Sources said the Indian government has evidence of Canada supporting farmers’ agitation too.

Recently, external affairs minister S Jaishankar had said India has evidence of the Canadian government’s interference in India’s affairs.

“There’s this whole issue of parity that the size of how many diplomats there are of one country versus how many diplomats there are of the other country. Parity is very much provided for by the Vienna Convention, which is the relevant international rule on this,” the minister was quoted by ANI as saying on the issue of diplomats being withdrawn.

“But in our case, we invoked parity because we had concerns about continuous interference in our affairs by Canadian personnel. We haven’t made much of that public. My sense is over a period of time more stuff will come out and people will understand why we had the kind of discomfort with many of them which we did”, he added.

The tensions between India and Canada escalated after the Justin Trudeau government announced that it had called back 41 diplomats. The withdrawal came a day before the deadline set by India, failing which they were liable to lose their diplomatic immunity.

New Delhi had sought “parity” in the strength of Canada’s diplomatic presence by bringing down those stationed in the country from 62 to 21. Trudeau called India’s actions as violation of the Geneva Convention.