Canada Reshuffles Diplomatic Posts: Singapore and Malaysia Welcoming Canadian Envoys from India

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
In a strategic diplomatic move, Canada has made substantial adjustments to its diplomatic presence in India, relocating a significant portion of its diplomats from New Delhi to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. This decision comes in response to India’s call for a reduction in Canadian diplomatic staff to achieve a balanced level of representation, following a contentious incident involving the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a suspected Khalistani terrorist. This development was reported by CTV News, a prominent Canadian television network.

Earlier this week, India issued a request for Canada to withdraw a considerable number of diplomats from its missions, fueling an escalating diplomatic dispute triggered by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s allegations linking Indian agents to Nijjar’s murder in June. India promptly dismissed these allegations as baseless and retaliated by expelling a senior Canadian diplomat, mirroring Canada’s expulsion of an Indian official linked to the case.

According to sources cited by CTV News, the Indian government has set a deadline of October 10 for Canada to align its diplomatic staff in India with the number of Indian diplomats in Canada, emphasizing the need for parity. While initial reports indicated a departure of 41 diplomats, the latest updates clarify that the request centers on achieving this balance.

“The majority of Canadian diplomats stationed in India, outside of New Delhi, have been relocated to either Kuala Lumpur or Singapore,” reported CTV News, shedding light on the strategic diplomatic shift.

Global Affairs Canada, responsible for managing the nation’s diplomatic and consular relations, had previously expressed concerns about diplomats receiving threats on various social media platforms. As a precautionary measure, they temporarily adjusted their staff presence in India, particularly after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations against the Indian government.

In response, the Indian government emphasized the necessity for Canada to align its diplomatic presence, emphasizing allegations of Canadian diplomats interfering in India’s internal matters. This ongoing diplomatic tension underscores the strained relations between the two nations in the aftermath of the Nijjar case.

Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, stated that discussions were underway to determine the mutual diplomatic presence, reaffirming India’s stance on achieving parity in diplomatic strength. Although details of diplomatic conversations were not disclosed, it is understood that New Delhi expects Ottawa to reduce its diplomatic staff by at least three dozen, given the significant disparity in diplomatic presence.

Bagchi also referred to India’s willingness to consider any specific or relevant information shared by Canada regarding Nijjar’s killing, echoing India’s commitment to diplomatic dialogue while maintaining a focus on achieving diplomatic balance.

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