In response to the ongoing diplomatic dispute between India and Canada, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has expressed a desire to resume visa services but emphasized the need for Indian diplomats to receive protection as outlined in the Vienna Convention. Visa issuance in Canada was recently halted by India due to concerns about the safety of its diplomats involved in the application process.
Jaishankar explained, “Ensuring safety and security of diplomats is the most fundamental aspect of the Vienna Convention. Right now, that is what has in many ways been challenged in Canada. Our people are not safe, our diplomats are not safe. So if we see progress there, I would like very much to resume the issuance of visas. My hope would be that it would be something which should happen very soon.”
He also acknowledged that the India-Canada relationship is currently facing a “difficult phase,” attributing the issues to a specific segment of Canadian politics and its associated policies.
The dispute has led to Canada reducing its diplomatic presence in India, retaining only the Canadian High Commission in Delhi to handle visa and consular services. This move followed India’s request for Canada to reduce its diplomatic presence within the country to maintain parity in the number of diplomats stationed in each other’s capitals. The number of Canadian diplomats in Delhi exceeded the count of Indian diplomats in Ottawa.