The Canadian government declared on Thursday that forty-one Canadian diplomats to India had left, one day ahead of the New Delhi deadline for their departure, after which they risked losing diplomatic immunity.
Even though the development was described as the “expulsion” of the Canadian ambassadors, Ottawa has “decided not to reciprocate,” thus it is unlikely to intensify the diplomatic dispute, according to Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly.
Reduction of Canadian diplomats-
India sought “parity” in the strength of Canada’s diplomatic presence by reducing the number of its ambassadors stationed there from 62 to 21. This led to the diplomatic drawdown.
Joly confirmed that India has officially communicated its intention to unilaterally remove diplomatic privileges for all but 21 Canadian diplomats and families in Delhi by tomorrow, October 20, during a press conference on Thursday in Ottawa.
She stated, “This indicates that our Canadian diplomats have departed with their families from India and are currently on their way home.”
Global Affairs Canada, the nation’s foreign ministry, released a statement in which Joly stated, “India accredited all Canadian diplomats, including those they are now expelling. Additionally, each and every one of those diplomats was performing their duties with integrity and to the mutual advantage of both nations.”
Talks and Discussions to Continue-
October 10 was the intended deadline for reducing the number of Canadian diplomats stationed in India. However, Canada let that deadline to pass while holding private discussions with India. But those conversations don’t seem to have gone well.
She did, however, add that Canada will “keep engaging” with India because, in what she said, “we need to talk to one another and have diplomats on the ground now more than ever.”
Joly declared, “Canada will uphold international law, which is applicable to every state equally. As we move forward, Canada is dedicated to conversation and will keep up its engagement with India.
Impact of India’s Unprecedented move-
She added that India’s move was unlikeliest. International law forbids the unilateral loss of diplomatic immunity and privileges. She maintained that it is blatantly against the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Since it permits “diplomats to do their work, without fear of punishment or arrest from the country they are in,” she continued, threatening to revoke such immunity is “unreasonable and escalatory.”
At the conference, Joly was joined by Canadian minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marc Miller. He said that Canada will have to bring a temporary halt to it’s in person services offered at Consulates in major Indian cities, including, Chandigarh, Bengaluru and Mumbai. Short may be medium term repercussions may occur as a result of deductions in the number of diplomats.
India is the country that sends the most international students and permanent residents to Canada, thus there may be negative effects on those application processes. India had already said in September that it would no longer be issuing visas to citizens of Canada for an undefined period of time.
“Our operations and client service will be affected by this mass expulsion,” according to a statement from Global Affairs Canada. Residents of India will therefore receive lower-quality of services as a result of the IRCC team’s shrinkage due to drawing down of Canadian diplomats.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will continue to accept applications from India; however, certain application requirements will need to be completed locally or on-site in a secure environment. “India’s decision will impact levels of services to citizens of both countries,” the statement explained.
“Canada will not let India’s decision derail its lawful probe into Mr. Nijjar’s death. The search for the truth, the safety of Canadians, and the preservation of our sovereignty remain Canada’s top priorities in this situation, according to Joly. In the parking lot of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, Nijjar was shot and killed.