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It Seems To Be Politically Driven…: MEA Over India-Canada Diplomatic Row

Amid the India-Canada diplomatic row, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Arindam Bagchi on Thursday said that...

Edited By : Saurav Gupta | Updated: Sep 21, 2023 16:50 IST
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MEA Over India-Canada Diplomatic Row
MEA Over India-Canada Diplomatic Row

Amid the India-Canada diplomatic row, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Arindam Bagchi on Thursday said that the Canada’s allegations and action are primarily politically driven.

Addressing the media, Bagchi said, “It is evident to us that there is a certain level of bias at play in this situation. The accusations have been made and subsequent actions taken, and from our perspective, it appears that these allegations from the Canadian government are primarily motivated by political considerations.”

“We have communicated to the Canadian government the need for a balanced representation in our respective diplomatic missions. Currently, their diplomatic presence significantly outnumbers ours in Canada… I anticipate that there may be a reduction from the Canadian side,” he said.

Speaking over the impact of this incident on the country’s international reputation, he said, “When we discuss matters of reputation and potential damage to it, I believe it’s Canada that should be reflecting on this. Its emerging image as a sanctuary for terrorists, extremists, and organized crime is concerning, and it’s Canada’s international reputation that should be a cause for concern.”

Informing about the surging security at Indian Consulate in Canada, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “We have consistently held the view that the host government is responsible for ensuring security. In certain locations, we may have our own security arrangements in place. However, discussing security measures in a public forum is not appropriate.”

Regarding visa services in Canada, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi stated, “We are cognizant of the security challenges our High Commission and Consulates are currently encountering in Canada. These challenges have disrupted their usual operations, leading to a temporary suspension in the processing of visa applications. We will be closely monitoring the situation and conducting regular reviews.”

MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi stated, “We are open to examining any concrete information that is presented to us. However, as of now, we have not received any specific information from Canada. On our part, we have shared specific evidence regarding criminal activities involving individuals on Canadian soil with Canada, but no action has been taken.”

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Giving clarity over the inter country travel issue, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “The concern does not pertain to travel to India. Those with valid visas and OCIs are welcome to travel to India. The primary issue is the incitement of violence, the lack of action by Canadian authorities, and the creation of a disruptive environment that affects the operations of our consulates. This is why we have temporarily suspended visa services. We will assess the situation regularly and make decisions accordingly.”

Bagchi, MEA Spokesperson, emphasized India’s commitment to providing security to foreign diplomats within its borders. He also noted the expectation that Canadian authorities would demonstrate a similar level of sensitivity and responsibility toward Indian diplomats in Canada in response to reports of threats to Canadian diplomats in India.

Alleging that the Canada government is providing safe haven to the terrorists, MEA Spokesperson expressed India’s concern about individuals with terrorism charges finding a safe haven in Canada.

He highlighted India’s requests for extradition or assistance regarding more than 20-25 such individuals over the years but noted that the response from Canadian authorities had not been helpful in addressing this issue.

First published on: Sep 21, 2023 04:23 PM IST

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