Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his apprehensions regarding the actions of the Indian government on Friday, underscoring the negative impact on the daily lives of millions in both India and Canada. Trudeau’s remarks followed Canada’s decision to withdraw 41 diplomats, a response to India’s unilateral threat of revoking their diplomatic status. This dispute arose after Trudeau had previously suggested potential Indian involvement in the June assassination of a Sikh extremist in Canada.
Trudeau commented, “The actions of the Indian government are creating significant challenges for the ordinary lives of people in both India and Canada. Moreover, these actions run counter to a fundamental principle of diplomacy.”
Addressing reporters at a televised press conference in Brampton, Ontario, Trudeau added, “I hold deep concerns for the well-being and happiness of the millions of Canadians with ties to the Indian subcontinent.”
Trudeau also highlighted that the expulsion of Canadian diplomats would impede travel, trade, and pose difficulties for Indian students studying in Canada. It is worth noting that approximately two million Canadians, constituting 5% of the population, have Indian heritage, and India represents the primary source of international students for Canada, accounting for approximately 40% of study permit holders.
In a formal statement, it was stressed that “Considering the current state of our bilateral relations, the larger number of Canadian diplomats in India, and their persistent interference in our internal affairs, a balanced and reciprocal diplomatic presence in both New Delhi and Ottawa is warranted.”
Presently, Canada maintains a diplomatic presence of 21 diplomats in India.