November 23, 2023
NEW DELHI – Following a nearly two-month hiatus, India has started offering e-visa services to Canadian citizens again, sources with knowledge of the situation reported on Wednesday.
Visa applications were halted on September 21 due to strained relations between the two nations as a result of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s unfounded claims of a “possible” Indian connection to the murder of pro-Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, British Columbia.
However, India started offering Canadian citizens visa services again in October for a limited number of visa categories, with the exception of journalists, employment, tourists, students, missionaries, and films.
Hours before Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in the virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit, services for all types of visas have resumed. The Canadian Prime Minister’s office (PMO) confirmed Trudeau’s attendance because it is scheduled for November 22.
Trudeau would be meeting Prime Minister Modi for the first time, albeit virtually, as relations between the two countries soured due to the former’s accusations against New Delhi.
A charge that New Delhi dismissed as “absurd” and “motivated” was made by Trudeau in the House of Commons, claiming that there were “credible allegations” of a possible connection between Indian agents and the killing of Nijjar. The prime minister of Canada has not yet offered any proof that India was involved in the murder.
In a dramatic flare-up that lasted for weeks, Trudeau reiterated on November 12 that India was complicit in the murder of Nijjar and charged New Delhi with breaking the Vienna Convention by “kicking out” dozens of diplomats.
Last week, S Jaishankar, the minister of external affairs, stated that India is not ruling out looking into Canada’s allegations, but he also pointed out that Ottawa has not yet produced any proof to support its position. At a Wilton Park, a UK foreign office agency in London, event, Jaishankar was asked whether there was any proof that India was involved in Nijjar’s murder.