New Delhi: India on Thursday (November 16) reiterated its call for Canada to abide by the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations after pro-Khalistan groups allegedly disturbed a camp set up by the Indian consulate in Vancouver.
The Indian consulate had set up a camp to provide life certificates to pensioners on November 12 as part of a routine exercise. External affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, during a media briefing, said that the event was held successfully despite attempts by a few radical elements to cause trouble.
Days after the event, India called on Ottawa to ensure a conducive environment in line with provisions of the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations so that its officials can discharge their duties without any hindrance or security concerns, the Tribune reported.
“We reiterate the need for nations to respect the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations so that our diplomats can discharge their diplomatic obligations,” Bagchi was quoted by the paper as saying.
India’s diplomatic relations with Canada had soured after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India of being involved in the killing of pro-Khalistan activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in September.
India strongly rejected the allegations and responded by temporarily suspending visa services to Canadian citizens and asked Ottawa to downsize its diplomatic presence in the country to ensure parity.
Bagchi was also asked about an incident that occurred near Brampton on Diwali which he called an “unrest” between two groups.
“As regards to events that you alluded to near Brampton on Diwali. I think that was more in the nature of unrest between the two groups. I don’t think there has been any complaint that our consulate has received… I saw some social media reports. We also understand that the authorities there are looking into that incident,” he said.
India’s fresh call to Ottawa comes days after it urged Canada to stop the “misuse” of freedom of expression to incite violence and prevent activities of extremist groups during Canada’s review of human rights record at the UN Human Rights Council.
This call by India was presented as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, under which member states of the United Nations undergo a periodic evaluation of their human rights records.