India Suspends Canadian Visas Amid Escalating Diplomatic Standoff: What Led to This Friction?

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India Suspends Canadian Visas

Tensions between India and Canada have reached a boiling point, as India suspends Canadian visas. This unprecedented move follows a series of events, including diplomatic expulsions and allegations of Indian involvement in the assassination of a Sikh separatist leader in Canada. In this article, we delve into the factors that have led to this escalating diplomatic standoff and its potential consequences.

The Rising Diplomatic Tensions between India and Canada:

The recent friction between India and Canada can be traced back to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement. He asserted that there were “credible allegations” of Indian government involvement in the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh separatist leader, on Canadian soil. Nijjar’s killing occurred in June outside the temple he led in Surrey, near Vancouver.

The Explosive Justin Trudeau Allegations:

Trudeau’s assertion set off a diplomatic tit-for-tat between the two countries, culminating in the expulsion of a diplomat from each nation. India vehemently denied the allegations, dismissing them as absurd. This exchange marked a significant deterioration in relations.

India Suspends Canadian Visas

India Suspends Canadian Visas

In response to security threats faced by its High Commission and consulates in Canada, India made the unprecedented decision to suspend all visa services for Canadian citizens, including e-visas. Now Indian visas for Canadian citizens won’t be available until further notice. The suspension has left Canadians without the means to travel to India until further notice.

Diplomatic Parity and Demands:

India called for a reduction in the number of Canadian diplomats stationed in India, emphasizing the need for mutual diplomatic presence based on strength and rank equivalence. This demand underscores the disparity in diplomatic staffing between the two nations.

Canada’s diplomatic response:

Canada’s response to these developments has been to assess the security of its diplomats and consular officers working in India. Some Canadian diplomats received threats on social media platforms, prompting this security assessment. Canada also expects India to provide adequate security for its diplomatic personnel.

The Absence of Concrete Evidence:

Despite the allegations and diplomatic measures taken, Canada has not provided concrete evidence linking India to the assassination. India remains willing to examine any specific information that Canada may provide to support its claims.

Implications for Trade and Relations:

This diplomatic rift has the potential to affect trade ties between India and Canada. Discussions regarding a proposed trade deal have been frozen, jeopardizing economic cooperation. Canada is the 17th largest foreign investor in India, and both countries have substantial investments in each other’s financial markets.

The Sikh Separatist Factor: Hardeep Singh Nijjar

The long-standing issue of Sikh separatism has strained India-Canada relations. India has criticized Canada for providing a safe haven for Sikh separatists, including Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Najjar, a key figure in the movement for an independent Sikh homeland (Khalistan), was wanted by India for years.


The suspension of visa services for Canadians and the broader diplomatic standoff underscore the complexity of India-Canada relations. As both nations grapple with the aftermath of these events, the implications for trade, diplomatic ties, and the Sikh separatist issue remain uncertain, casting a shadow over their strategic partnership.

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