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India eases a visa ban a month after Canada alleged its involvement in a Sikh separatist’s killing

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India says it’s easing a visa ban imposed on Canadian nationals greater than a month in the past after Canada alleged that India was concerned within the assassination of a Sikh separatist in Canada

ByASHOK SHARMA Related Press

October 25, 2023, 4:39 PM

NEW DELHI — India on Wednesday introduced an easing of its visa ban on Canadian nationals imposed greater than a month in the past after Canada alleged that India was concerned within the assassination of a Sikh separatist in Canada.

India introduced that it’s going to resume providers for entry, enterprise, medical and convention visas beginning Thursday, in accordance with a press launch issued by the Indian Excessive Fee in Ottawa. Emergency providers will proceed to be dealt with by the Indian Excessive Fee and the consulates in Toronto and Vancouver, it mentioned.

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Wednesday’s announcement might ease tensions between the 2 international locations.

A diplomatic spat erupted between them after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned final month that there have been “credible allegations” of Indian involvement within the killing of Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar in suburban Vancouver in western Canada. Nijjar was a 45-year-old Sikh activist and plumber who was killed by masked gunmen in June in Surrey, outdoors Vancouver.

For years, India had mentioned that Nijjar, a Canadian citizen born in India, had hyperlinks to terrorism, an allegation Nijjar denied.

Canada didn’t retaliate in opposition to India’s halting the issuing of latest visas for Canadian nationals. India beforehand expelled a senior Canadian diplomat after Canada expelled a senior Indian diplomat.

India has accused Canada of harboring separatists and “terrorists,” however dismissed the Canadian allegation of its involvement within the killing as “absurd.”

The Indian easing of the visa ban Wednesday got here days after Canada mentioned it was recalling 41 of its 62 diplomats in India. That call got here after Canada mentioned New Delhi warned it might strip their diplomatic immunity — one thing Canadian officers characterised as a violation of the Geneva Conference.

The Indian authorities final week rejected any notion that it violated worldwide regulation in asking Canada to recall diplomats in order that each governments have roughly the identical quantity stationed in every nation.

India had not publicly said it might withdraw diplomatic immunity from the Canadian diplomats, nor did it give a deadline for his or her departure. But it surely mentioned it wished Canada to cut back its variety of diplomats in India to match the quantity that India has in Canada.

“Resolving variations requires diplomats on the bottom,” Matthew Miller, a Canadian State Division spokesman, mentioned in an announcement final week. “We now have urged the Indian authorities to not insist upon a discount in Canada’s diplomatic presence and to cooperate within the ongoing Canadian investigation.”

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