India expels Canadian diplomat in retaliatory move, asks him to leave country within five days
India summoned Canadian High Commissioner Cameron MacKay this morning after the Prime Minister's allegation indicated a massive escalation in the tension between the two countries.
India-Canada relations have hit rock bottom after Ottawa on Monday expelled a top Indian diplomat as it investigates what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called credible allegations that the Indian government may have had links to the assassination in Canada of a Khalistani separatist, Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had told an emergency parliament session that his government had "credible allegations" linking Indian agents to the slaying of an exiled Sikh leader, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, in British Columbia. It was an "unacceptable violation of our sovereignty", he said.
Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly said the head of Indian intelligence in Canada has been expelled as a consequence. "If proven true this would be a great violation of our sovereignty and of the most basic rule of how countries deal with each other," Joly said.
"As a consequence, we have expelled a top Indian diplomat," she added.
Hours after this, India expelled a senior Canadian Diplomat. According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the High Commissioner of Canada to India was summoned and informed about the decision of the Government to expel a senior Canadian Diplomat based in India.
The concerned diplomat has been asked to leave India within the next five days.
The decision reflects the Government of India's growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities.
The MEA has also termed the allegations levelled by Justin Trudeau as 'absurd and motivated'.
"We have seen and rejected the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister," the MEA said in a statement.
"Allegations of the Government of India's involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated. Similar allegations were made by the Canadian Prime Minister to our Prime Minister and were completely rejected," the statement continued.