‘Majboori thi’: EAM Jaishankar on suspending visa for Canada amid diplomatic row over Nijjar killing | Mint
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Business News/ News / World/  ‘Majboori thi’: EAM Jaishankar on suspending visa for Canada amid diplomatic row over Nijjar killing
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‘Majboori thi’: EAM Jaishankar on suspending visa for Canada amid diplomatic row over Nijjar killing

Jaishankar, criticized Canada for violence, threats, and intimidation against Indian diplomats and missions. He called for action to be taken by the Canadian government and warned against normalizing such behavior.

India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (via REUTERS)Premium
India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (via REUTERS)

External Affairs Minister for India Subrahmanyam Jaishankar trained guns on all the measures taken amid a simmering diplomatic row over the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June in British Columbia's Surrey. 

What began as a tit-for-tat move in expelling diplomats from India and Canda aggravated to India suspending visa services for Canadian citizens on 21 September citing "security threats" faced by the Indian High Commission and consulates in Canada.

Jaishankar, who was in US meeting Secretary of State Antony Blinken and NSA Jake Sullivan, later met reporters and said, "Majboori thi…humare diplomats, consulates ke khilaf hinsa ka prachar ho raha hai, kaise visa, office jane ka kam karenge, yeh law and order, Vienna convention ka issue hai (We were desperate. They [Canada] were perpetrating hate at our diplomats, consulates, how would people go to the visa office and get their work done? Law and order is an issue of the Vienna Convention)

Jaishankar said the visa services had to be suspended because Indian diplomats and officials were unable to continue with their work as there were threats of constant violence to them.

“Under the Vienna Convention, it is the responsibility of every country to provide security to its embassy and those working in the embassy. Don't make it bilateral. This environment is not in India...Social media postings, protests and threats are happening in Canada. They (the Canadian government) should take action there." Jaishankar added. 

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Hitting out at Canada, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said it is necessary to call out things like violence, threats and intimidation against Indian diplomats and missions and wondered if this had happened to any other country would the world have taken it with equanimity.

"Let's not normalise what is happening in Canada," Jaishankar said during an interaction with Indian journalists.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's has said there are ‘credible allegations’ that Indian government and intellegentsia was involved in the June killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on June 18 in British Columbia's Surrey.

India had designated Hardeep Singh Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020.

"We have had an ongoing problem with Canada and the Canadian government for some years now. The ongoing problem really revolves around the permissiveness to terrorism, extremism and violence. This permissiveness is also reflected in the fact that some important extradition requests have not been responded to from their side," Jaishankar said.

"We have had smoke bombs thrown at the mission, we have had violence in front of consulates, there are posters put up. Do you consider this normal? If this had happened to any other country, how would they react? Let's not normalise what is happening in Canada. It is important to call out what is happening there," Jaishankar added. 

"What is happening in Canada, had it happened anywhere else, do you think the world would've taken it with equanimity?" he asked. 

Jaishankar said one of the problems is that no incident is isolated and the totality as there is a context for everything.

He also asserted that it was not acceptable to make threats and intimidate diplomats in the name of freedom of speech.

Jaishankar said he always asks people one question, how would they react if they were in his place?

When asked if the issue of Canadian allegations was raised during the meeting with Secretary of State Anonty Blinken and NSA Jake Sullivan, Jaishankar said, “My understanding is that the word used by the Canadians is allegation...I have already answered it...We've always said that look if there is information let us know. I want to make one thing very clear. It's not that our doors are shut to looking at something".

(With agency inputs)

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Published: 30 Sep 2023, 06:24 PM IST
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