New Delhi. The ministry of external affairs strongly responded to Canada’s statement on the withdrawal of some of its diplomats following Bharat’s prod and said no international norm was violated seeking parity in the mutual diplomatic presence in New Delhi and Ottawa.
Countering Canada’s charge, the MEA said in a statement – “We reject any attempt to portray the implementation of parity as a violation of international norms”.
“The state of our bilateral relations, the much higher number of Canadian diplomats in Bharat, and their continued interference in our internal affairs warrant a parity in mutual diplomatic presence in New Delhi and Ottawa.”
“Our actions in implementing this parity are fully consistent with Article11.1 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” the MEA stated.
Canadian Foreign Minister Mlanie Joly said that 41 of Canada’s 62 diplomats in Bharat have been removed, along with their dependents. “A unilateral revocation of the diplomatic privilege and immunity is contrary to international law and a clear violation of Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations. Threatening to do so is unreasonable and escalatory,” Joly said, adding that Bharat’s decision will impact the level of services to citizens of both countries.
Only 21 officials remain in India to handle the work at embassy and consulates, Joly said.
According to reports, the drop in diplomatic staff is likely to hit processing time for visas. Canada has also halted all in-person services in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chandigarh-those in need will now have to visit the embassy in New Delhi.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported that the fallout is unlikely to impact trade relations between both countries.
Bharat’s move comes amid the diplomatic spat between the two countries after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused Bharat of being involved in the killing of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. In a tit-for-tat move, Bharat had suspended its visa services in Canada and asked the latter to reduce the number of its diplomats in Bharat.