India's Minister of External Affairs, S Jaishankar, has announced that visa services in Canada will only be reinstated once the safety and security of Indian diplomats in Canada are assured in accordance with the Vienna Convention.
Jaishankar's comments followed Canada's recent decision to recall 41 of its diplomats from India and suspend walk-in services at its consulates in Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chandigarh, impacting the accessibility of Canadian visa services for Indians.
"If we see progress in safety of our diplomats in Canada, we would like to resume issuance of visas there," said EAM Jaishankar, at the Kautilya Economic Conclave.
The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is an international treaty that defines the rights and duties of states in diplomacy, including the safety of diplomatic personnel.
S Jaishankar said, "Some weeks ago, we stopped issuing visas in Canada because it was no longer safe for our diplomats to go to work to issue visas. So their safety and security was the primary reason we had to temporarily stop the issue of visas. We're tracking it very closely."
Jaishankar voiced worries about Canadian personnel meddling in India's affairs, citing it as a key factor behind India's reduction in the count of Canadian diplomats stationed in the country. "Parity is very much provided for by the Vienna Convention, which is the relevant international rule on this. But in our case, we invoked parity because we had concerns about continuous interference in our affairs by Canadian personnel," he added.
Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly, in her announcement on Thursday, characterized the Indian government's actions as a breach of international law and a violation of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations. India, on the other hand, has firmly denied these allegations. Jaishankar acknowledged that the current state of India-Canada relations is challenging. He clarified that India's concerns are primarily directed at specific elements within Canadian politics.