India Canada Relations: India stopped issuing visas to Canadian citizens on Thursday, citing “operational reasons.” The action is being taken in the midst of hostilities between India and Canada after the murder of terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. BLS, a private organisation hired to do preliminary review of Canadian visa applications, posted a message on its website informing “Due to operational reasons, with effect from 21 September 2023, Indian visa services have been suspended till further notice. Please keep checking the BLS website for further updates.”
India Suspends Canadian Visas Amidst Allegations and Expulsions
According to sources, India has stopped providing Canadians with visa services as a result of the ongoing dispute. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday that his government was looking into “credible allegations” that Indian government agents were connected to the killing of Nijjar on June 18, when he was shot dead outside a Sikh cultural centre in Surrey, British Columbia, following their “not so pleasant” discussion about the Khalistani issue during the G20 meeting in Delhi earlier this month. India has dismissed the accusations as ludicrous and denied any involvement in the murder. Following this, when both nations responded in a tit-for-tat manner, the animosity between India and Canada worsened even more. India followed suit by expelling one Indian diplomat after Canada did so.
Canada’s Stance Amidst Visa Suspension and Immigration Concerns
Although Canada is not attempting to antagonise India, firm action must be done, Trudeau said earlier this week. “The government of India needs to take this matter with the utmost seriousness. We are doing that, we are not looking to provoke or escalate,” Reuters quoted him as saying on Tuesday. People who want to immigrate to Canada are concerned that the deteriorating relations between the two nations would cause the immigration process to take longer. Immigration experts responded to these inquiries by saying that, in order to boost the economy, Canada “doesn’t have a choice” except to welcome immigrants. There may, however, be a few ad hoc restrictions.
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