Tue. May 21st, 2024

In a bid to ease tension with India, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stated that Ottawa does not want to escalate the situation. The Canadian government has indicated that they are engaged in private talks to maintain a strong diplomatic presence in India. Trudeau’s remarks came in response to a Financial Times report that India wants 41 out of the 62 Canadian diplomats to leave the country.

Trudeau did not confirm the report but CBC News reported that when asked if Canada would request India to remove diplomats, he stated, “We’re not looking to escalate…we’re going to be doing the work that matters in continuing to have constructive relations with India through this extremely difficult time.”

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly also addressed the issue, expressing that Ottawa believes in maintaining a strong diplomatic presence in India. She stated, “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 that diplomatic conversations are best when they remain private.”

Joly added, “In moments of tension – because indeed there are tensions between both our governments more than ever – it’s important that diplomats be on the ground, and that’s why we believe in the importance of having a strong diplomatic footprint in India.”

The diplomatic face-off between the two countries was sparked by Trudeau’s allegations of India’s involvement in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Nijjar was shot dead in British Columbia in June and was designated as a terrorist under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Trudeau’s accusation led to a diplomatic storm, with India labeling the allegations as “absurd” and “motivated.” Both countries expelled senior diplomats and issued travel advisories in retaliation.

Trudeau’s accusations came shortly after his trip to New Delhi for the G20 summit, during which Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concerns about anti-India activities in Canada. Trudeau responded by defending freedom of expression and stating that the actions of a few do not represent Canada.

The United States has called for a thorough investigation into Canada’s allegations. The matter was discussed during a meeting between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. Canadian officials had sought public condemnation of Nijjar’s murder from allies, including the US, ahead of the G20 summit, but found them reluctant to do so.

The situation is still unfolding, and both countries are expected to engage in further discussions to address the escalating tensions.

By admin