External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who has just concluded his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), in a veiled attack on Canada, said that political convenience could not determine response to terrorism.
"Respect for territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs cannot be exercised in cherry picking," Jaishankar said during a UNGA session on Tuesday.
His response came nearly a week after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, alleged Indian agents were involved in the killing of Khalistan terrorist, Hardeep Singh Nijjar-- a claim India rejected outrightly.
Subsequently, the tension between the two nations soared to a new low and this prompted the expulsion of diplomats from their respective countries. Responding to the allegations of Trudeau that he has "credible information" about India's link with the killing of the extremist, the Ministry of External Affairs rejected the claims and said Ottawa did not proffer any "proof" that could ascertain Canadian PM's claim.
The Ministry asked the Canadian Embassy in New Delhi to minimise the diplomatic presence as it considers Ottawa had many staff whose roles were questionable. Also, New Delhi announced the suspension of visa services for Canadians.
BLS International, which runs the visa application centres in Canada, published a message on its Canadian site. "Important notice from the Indian Mission: Due to operational reasons, with effect from 21st September 2023 [Thursday], Indian visa services have been suspended till further notice," read the notice.
Trudeau says he does want to provoke India
Earlier last week, Trudeau clarified that he was not trying to provoke New Delhi but rather wanted his Indian counterpart to address the issue properly.
"The government of India needs to take this matter with the utmost seriousness. We are doing that, we are not looking to provoke or escalate," news agency Reuters quoted the Canadian PM as saying to reporters on Tuesday.
The statement from Washington came after Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said the expelled Indian diplomat was the head of Indian intelligence in Canada and added her PM also raised the matter with US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.