India on Sunday said its relationship with Canada is passing through a difficult phase and there had been “continued interference” by Canadian personnel in New Delhi’s internal affairs.
“The relationship right now is going through a difficult phase. But I do want to say the problems we have are with a certain segment of Canadian politics and the policies which flow from that,” India’s foreign affairs minister S. Jaishankar said at an event.
Jaishankar said India had invoked diplomatic parity under the Vienna Convention, “because we had concerns about continuous interference in our affairs by Canadian personnel”.
“We haven’t made much of that public. My sense is over a period of time more stuff will come out and people will understand why we had the kind of discomfort with many of them which we did”.
#WATCH | On Canadian diplomatic presence in India, EAM Dr S Jaishankar says, "There's this whole issue of parity that the size of how many diplomats there are of one country versus how many diplomats there are of the other country. Parity is very much provided for by the Vienna… pic.twitter.com/xJmk80GHHS
— ANI (@ANI) October 22, 2023
Canada’s Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said last week India’s stand was unreasonable and unprecedented and clearly violated the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.
Jaishankare also said India had stopped issuing visas in Canada a few weeks ago due to concerns over the safety and security of its diplomats in going to work. He said India would resume the issuance of visas if there was progress in the safety of its diplomats working there.
Around two million Canadians, or 5 percent of the population, have Indian heritage. India is by far Canada’s largest source of overseas students, making up roughly 40pc of study permit holders.