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After Going Public With The Issue, Canada Now Seeks Private Discussions With India To Resolve 'Diplomatic Crisis'

Nishtha Anushree

Oct 04, 2023, 10:56 AM | Updated 10:56 AM IST

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly on Tuesday (3 October) expressed the country's desire for confidential discussions with India to address a diplomatic dispute related to the killing of Khalistan terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, as reported by Reuters.

Joly emphasized the seriousness with which Canada regards the safety of its diplomats and stated that private diplomatic conversations are deemed most effective.

She conveyed to reporters, "We are in contact with the government of India. We take Canadian diplomats' safety very seriously and we will continue to engage privately because we think diplomatic conversations are best when they remain private."

The statement came after Canada purportedly received a request from India to recall around 40 diplomats by 10 October. According to sources, the Indian government has issued a warning, indicating that it may revoke diplomatic immunity for any Canadian diplomat who remains in the country beyond the specified deadline.

Another development was that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau conveyed that his nation is committed to avoiding an escalation of tensions with India. Canada intends to sustain a responsible and constructive engagement with New Delhi, as Trudeau affirmed that his government seeks to remain present in India to support Canadian families.

Notably, tensions rose in India-Canada relations following Trudeau's public allegations suggesting the Indian government's 'potential role' in the fatal shooting of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a designated terrorist in India. The incident occurred outside a Gurdwara in Canada's Surrey, British Columbia, on 18 June.

Trudeau, during a parliamentary debate in Canada, asserted that his country's national security officials had reasons to believe that "agents of the Indian government" were involved in the killing. However, India has vehemently rejected these claims, labeling them as 'absurd' and 'motivated.'

Notably, Canada is yet to provide public evidence supporting the allegations concerning the killing of Nijjar. The country has expressed its intent to "work constructively with India" regarding these allegations.

Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.

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