India has demanded that Canada scale back its diplomatic presence in the country by two-thirds following strained relations between the two nations over the assassination of a Sikh separatist leader. The Financial Times, citing unidentified sources, reported that India has instructed Canada to repatriate approximately 40 diplomats by October 10.
According to the newspaper, New Delhi has issued a stern warning to Canada, stating that any diplomats remaining in the country after the specified date will have their immunity revoked. Currently, Canada has 62 diplomats stationed in India, and it has been instructed to reduce this number by 41.
This move highlights the deteriorating relationship between the two nations, which has been exacerbated by the murder of the Sikh separatist leader. The details regarding the assassination remain murky, and both countries have been caught in a war of words.
Canada has been vocal about human rights concerns in India, particularly in relation to the treatment of Sikhs and other religious minorities. In response, India has accused Canada of providing a platform for Sikh separatists to propagate their agenda, resulting in tensions between the two governments.
The demand to reduce the number of diplomats signifies a new low in bilateral relations, as it directly impacts the level of engagement and communication between the countries. Diplomatic channels serve as crucial links for dialogue, negotiation, and cooperation, and reducing their numbers can hinder the ability to resolve issues and maintain amicable relations.
It remains to be seen how Canada will respond to India’s demand. This latest development further adds to the strain between the two nations and underlines the need for diplomatic efforts to bridge the divide and find common ground.