Diplomatic Storm Looms: Delays Possible for Indians Seeking Canadian Visas
Diplomatic Storm Looms: Delays Possible for Indians Seeking Canadian Visas

Indians applying for Canadian visas could soon encounter delays due to a diplomatic upheaval unfolding between the two nations. The disruption in visa services stems from the controversy surrounding the assassination of a Sikh separatist leader. In response, New Delhi ceased visa application processing last month and has now issued orders for over 40 diplomats to depart from the country. This downsizing of diplomatic personnel may potentially result in delays in the processing of Canadian visa applications.

Last month, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ignited a diplomatic crisis by asserting the existence of 'credible allegations' linking Indian government agents to the murder that took place in June. India vehemently refuted this claim as 'absurd' and retaliated with a series of restrictive measures.

Sources familiar with the situation, have indicated that the latest developments have not yet disrupted Canadian visa processing services. Nevertheless, they have pointed out that a significant reduction in diplomatic staff is likely to have an impact.

Meanwhile, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly stated on Tuesday that Canada is seeking "private discussions with India to resolve the diplomatic dispute."

"We are in contact with the government of India. We take the safety of Canadian diplomats very seriously, and we will continue to engage in private discussions because we believe diplomatic conversations are most effective when conducted confidentially," Reuters quoted Joly as saying to reporters.

Canada has not presented any public evidence to substantiate the claims regarding the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. The country has expressed its intention to collaborate constructively with India in addressing these allegations.

Reportedly, India has instructed Canada to repatriate the diplomats by October 10. Canadian officials, however, have refrained from directly addressing this demand. Trudeau emphasized on Tuesday that his country is not seeking to "escalate the situation with India" and emphasized Ottawa's desire to maintain a presence in New Delhi to assist Canadian citizens.

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