Following India’s intention to downsize its diplomatic staff, Canada has relocated some of its diplomats stationed outside of New Delhi to either Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) or Singapore. Reports indicate that India has set a deadline of October 10 for Canada to balance the number of its diplomatic personnel in India to match India’s diplomatic presence in Canada.
In response, it has been reported that Canada has relocated most of its diplomats from its High Commission in India to Southeast Asia, specifically Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Singapore. Reports state that India’s recent request for Canada to reduce the number of its diplomats stationed in India as tensions escalated due to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s accusation, which linked Indian agents to the killing of Khalistani separatist Nijjar in June. India dismissed these allegations as unfounded and driven by ulterior motives. In response, India expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a reciprocal measure to Ottawa’s earlier expulsion of an Indian official in connection with the case.
A closer look at the downfall of diplomatic relations between India and Canada
The murder of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada in June sparked a diplomatic dispute between India and Canada, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau linking India to the killing. After this, Indo-Canadian ties reached a new low. Nijjar was killed by two masked men outside a gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia. The murderers fled in a car driven by a third party. India has explicitly rejected any participation, calling Trudeau’s accusations “absurd” and politically driven.
The Khalistan movement is essentially a separatist movement seeking to create a homeland for Sikhs by establishing an ethno‐religious sovereign state called Khalistan in the Punjab region.
However, there has been no official news about the diplomats’ departure from New Delhi. The report came as Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said on Tuesday that the government was in diplomatic talks with India about employee reductions.
The situation underscores the complex nature of international relations and the potential consequences of diplomatic disputes, as both nations navigate their differences and work towards a resolution through diplomatic talks. The future of their diplomatic relationship remains uncertain, with ongoing discussions and developments yet to unfold.