India Canada Tensions Visa Services Suspended 21st September 2023

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Indian Canada Tensions Visa Services Suspended
Indian Canada Tensions Visa Services Suspended

India Canada Tensions Visa Services Suspended

India Canada Tensions Visa Services Suspended: In the backdrop of escalating political tensions between India and Canada due to the assassination of a Khalistani separatist leader in Canada, both countries have taken a significant step. India has suspended its visa services in Canada, further exacerbating the diplomatic dispute. This decision comes as a response to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegation against Indian agents of “possible” involvement in the murder, which was vehemently denied by India.

Growing Strain in India-Canada Relations

India Canada Tensions Visa Services Suspended: The strained relations between India and Canada have been steadily escalating. Initially, both nations recalled their diplomats, and now New Delhi has suspended visa services for Canadian citizens, marking a significant escalation. The roots of this tension can be traced back to Canada’s Prime Minister accusing India of being involved in the murder of Khalistani sympathizer Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Indian Canada Tensions Visa Services Suspended
Members of Pakistan’s Sikh community take part in a protest in Peshawar on September 20, 2023, following the killing in Canada of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

India Canada Tensions Visa Services Suspended: Visa Services Suspended by India

In a surprising move, India has suspended visa services for Canadian citizens until further notice. This is the most significant step taken by India in response to the ongoing tensions. The deterioration of relations began when Canada’s Prime Minister leveled accusations against India regarding the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Khalistani separatist.

Read More – Hardeep Singh Nijjar Killed News: The Controversial Figure at the Center of Diplomatic Tensions 2023

Official Announcement by BLS International

BLS International, an online visa application center handling applications for India and other countries, posted a notice on its website regarding the suspension of Indian visa services. The message stated, “Due to operational reasons, with effect from September 21, 2023, Indian visa services have been suspended until further notice. Please continue to check the BLS website for further updates.”

Indian Canada Tensions Visa Services Suspended
India Canada Tensions Visa Services Suspended

India Canada Tensions Visa Services Suspended: Confirmation by Indian Officials

Indian officials have confirmed the suspension of visa services, but they have refrained from commenting further on the matter. One official stated, “The language is clear, and it says what it intends to say.” This marks the first time India has suspended visa services since the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, the Ministry of External Affairs issued advisories urging Indian citizens traveling to Canada to exercise caution and avoid areas with anti-India sentiments or potential hate crimes.

India’s Rejection of Allegations

India has vehemently rejected the allegations made by Canada, terming them as “baseless” and “inspired.” In response to Canada’s expulsion of an Indian official in this case, India has reciprocated by expelling a senior Canadian diplomat.

India’s Demand for Proof

During a special session of Parliament on Wednesday, September 20, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval met with Home Minister Amit Shah. Since then, India has been consistently pushing for Canada to provide evidence to substantiate its allegations.

The Impact on Bilateral Relations

The suspension of Indian visa services in Canada in 2023 has had a profound impact on the already fragile India-Canada bilateral relations. Both countries have a long history of diplomatic ties, but recent events have strained their relationship significantly.

Historical Context of India-Canada Relations

India and Canada have traditionally maintained friendly relations, characterized by cooperation in various fields, including trade, education, and technology. The Indian diaspora in Canada has played a crucial role in strengthening these ties. However, recent events have threatened to disrupt this historical camaraderie.

The Hardeep Singh Nijjar Case

The current crisis stems from the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a prominent Khalistani separatist leader living in Canada. Mr. Nijjar’s assassination sent shockwaves through both nations, as it raised questions about security and law enforcement within Canada’s borders.

A poster of the former Gurdwara President Hardeep Singh Nijjar is displayed on a fence outside the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara temple in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, on September 19, 2023.

Canada’s Accusation Against India

The turning point in this crisis occurred when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly accused Indian agents of potential involvement in Nijjar’s murder. This accusation was based on preliminary information, and Canada demanded that India cooperate in the investigation.

India’s Swift Rejection

India swiftly and categorically rejected Canada’s allegations, describing them as “baseless” and “inspired.” The Indian government maintained that it had no involvement in the assassination and was committed to fully cooperating with Canada in the investigation.

Diplomatic Fallout

The exchange of accusations between the two nations resulted in a diplomatic fallout. Both India and Canada recalled their diplomats for consultations, signaling the deterioration of bilateral relations. This move was an unprecedented development in the history of India-Canada relations.

India Canada Tensions Visa Services Suspended: Suspension of Visa Services

The suspension of Indian visa services for Canadian citizens is the latest escalation in this ongoing crisis. This decision by India is a significant measure, reflecting its concern about the handling of the situation by Canadian authorities.

Image Credit: Hindustan Times

BLS International’s Announcement

BLS International, the online visa application center responsible for processing Indian visa applications in Canada, issued a public notice regarding the suspension. The notice, posted on their website, stated that Indian visa services had been suspended “due to operational reasons” and would remain so until further notice.

Indian Canada Tensions Visa Services Suspended
Shikhar Aggarwal, joint managing director of BLS International Services Ltd.

Indian Officials’ Stance

Indian officials have confirmed the suspension of visa services but have refrained from making additional statements. The decision to suspend visa services is seen as a diplomatic response to Canada’s allegations and the ongoing investigation into Nijjar’s murder.

Implications and Future Developments

The suspension of Indian visa services in Canada has several implications for both countries. It underscores the gravity of the situation and the need for a thorough and transparent investigation into Nijjar’s assassination.

India’s Call for Evidence

India has consistently called on Canada to provide concrete evidence to substantiate its allegations. The demand for evidence is not only about vindicating India’s position but also about upholding the principles of justice and accountability.

The Role of the Indian Diaspora

The Indian diaspora in Canada plays a crucial role in maintaining cultural and economic ties between the two nations. The current crisis has raised concerns within this community, as it impacts their ability to visit their homeland.

India Canada Tensions Visa Services Suspended

The suspension of Indian visa services in Canada in 2023 is a significant development in the ongoing tensions between the two nations. The diplomatic dispute, triggered by allegations surrounding the assassination of a Khalistani leader, underscores the fragile nature of India-Canada relations at this time. India’s demand for evidence from Canada remains a pivotal aspect of this dispute, and the situation continues to evolve. Both countries must work towards resolving this crisis through transparent and diplomatic means, as a healthy relationship between India and Canada is in the best interests of both nations and their people

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