India Raises Diplomatic Parity Issue with Canada: MEA’s Statement

India – Canada Relations

India – Canada Relations: Arindam Bagchi, a spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, addressed a number of diplomatic concerns on Thursday, including the recent Khalistan protests in London and worries about the safety of Indian diplomats in the US, Canada, and the UK.

India’s MEA Addresses Unequal Representation

Bagchi said in reference to the unequal diplomatic representation between India and Canada: “Given the much higher diplomatic presence in India and their continuing interference in our internal affairs, we had sought parity in our respective diplomatic presence.” Although there have been rumours that the diplomatic presence must be reduced by October 10, Bagchi refrained from announcing any precise date.

Khalistan Protest Outside Indian High Commission in London

When the Indian tricolour was set ablaze, the recent demonstration by supporters of Khalistan outside the Indian High Commission in London took a worrying turn. The combative actions of Gurcharan Singh of the Dal Khalsa UK and Paramjit Singh Pamma of the Khalistan Tiger Force stood out in this context. Speaking on these developments, Bagchi said, “We have been addressing concerns about the security of our diplomats… The issue is about security, ensuring that our diplomats can function, and the premises are safe.” “I don’t want to get into specifics, but in the UK, there was a protest outside the embassy on the 2nd of October. We have certainly taken up the issue of the security of our diplomats with the authorities there,” he added.

Newsclick Controversy and Bilateral Relations

When asked about the arrests and controversy surrounding Newsclick as well as the alleged connections and infractions involving American businessman Neville Singham, Bagchi responded, “If our agencies find that there have been violations of a law by an entity or individuals, they will look into it.” Even as Bagchi emphasised India’s commitment to furthering the bilateral relationship, the country’s connection with the Maldives took the stage. “Prime Minister (Modi) was the first leader to convey greetings and felicitations to the President-elect. Prime Minister reaffirmed the commitment to strengthening the time-tested India-Maldives bilateral relationship and announced overall cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region,” he said.

High Commissioner Meets President to Strengthen Bilateral Ties

Bagchi said, “Subsequently, yesterday, our High Commissioner in Male also called on the president. They had discussions on various aspects of our bilateral partnership. He had an opportunity to officially congratulate Male and the people for once again demonstrating their faith in democratic governance and constitutional processes that reflect their firm commitment to the values of democracy and the rule of law.” He continued by stating that he did not wish to remark on news stories.

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