In an ongoing diplomatic exchange between the Canadian and Indian governments, the administration led by Justin Trudeau firmly dismissed India’s Ministry of External Affairs’ travel advisory on Wednesday. Canada countered by asserting that it remains one of the safest countries globally.
This diplomatic tug-of-war began when Canada accused the Narendra Modi government of involvement in the June killing of Khalistani separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, resulting in the removal of an Indian diplomat from their post. In retaliation, India refuted these allegations, labeling them as ‘absurd’ and ‘motivated,’ and subsequently expelled a senior Canadian diplomat.
On the recent development, India issued a travel advisory to its citizens residing in Canada, urging them to exercise ‘utmost caution’ due to escalating anti-India activities and ‘politically-endorsed’ hate crimes within the North American nation.
The advisory from India’s Ministry of External Affairs cited ‘threats’ directed at Indian diplomats and sections of the Indian community, as well as an ‘anti-India agenda.’ Indian nationals were advised to steer clear of regions and potential venues in Canada where such incidents had occurred.
In response, Canada’s Immigration Minister Marc Miller sought to reassure Indian nationals, emphasizing the safety of travel to Canada. He stated, “Canada is universally recognized as one of the safest countries globally, governed by the rule of law. Therefore, it’s important for everyone to remain calm given the recent events and the gravity of the allegations.”
While acknowledging heightened tensions between the two governments, Miller stressed the need for a composed approach. He indicated that discussions regarding the serious allegations against India needed to continue while recognizing the emotional nature of the situation.
Minister of Housing, Infrastructure, and Communities Sean Fraser called on Canadians to trust the security services’ ability to investigate the death. Fraser highlighted the importance of preserving the process leading to a just outcome, even if certain details related to these allegations were not disclosed.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs responded to Prime Minister Trudeau’s comments by asserting that such unverified allegations were intended to divert attention from the presence of Khalistani terrorists and extremists sheltered in Canada, posing a continuous threat to India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.