Amid diplomatic tensions, India suspends visa services for Canadians

The move comes after relations between two countries soured following killing of Khalistani leader

Amid escalating diplomatic tensions, India has suspended visa services for Canadians until further notice. The move comes after relations between the two countries soured following the killing of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia on June 18.

BLS International, which operates the visa application centers in Canada, posted a message on its Canadian website that reads, ‘Important notice from the Indian Mission: Due to operational reasons, with effect from September 21, 2023 [Thursday], Indian visa services have been suspended until further notice.’

Diplomatic tensions between India and Canada

Diplomatic relations between the two countries soured after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged that security agencies have “reason to believe” that agents “linked to the Indian government” carried out the killing of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Following the allegation, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly announced on Monday that an Indian diplomat in the country had been expelled.

In a tit-for-tat move, India expelled a senior Canadian diplomat on Tuesday, who has been asked to leave within the next five days. India has also rejected claims by the Canadian government that it had any involvement in the killing of Nijjar.

Pro-Khalistani outfit calls for the ‘shutdown’ of Indian consulates in Canada

Meanwhile, a pro-Khalistani outfit, calling for a ‘shutdown’ of Indian consulates in Canada, has announced peaceful protests beginning next week.

Nijjar, who was spearheading the Khalistani referendum in Canada, was fatally shot in the parking lot of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey city, British Columbia, after evening prayers on June 18 this year.

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