Canada sacks Indian staffers working at its diplomatic missions in India

Canadian govt implemented some staff reductions across its network of missions in India, says official

Murtaza Ali Shah
A security personnel patrols outside the Canadian High-Commision in New Delhi, India September 19, 2023. — Reuters
A security personnel patrols outside the Canadian High-Commision in New Delhi, India September 19, 2023. — Reuters

  • Canada-India relations hit rock bottom after Nijjar assassination.
  • HC expresses gratitude for "service" of its local staff in India.
  • PM Trudeau alleged India was behind Nijjar’s assassination.

LONDON: Ties between Canada and India have deteriorated further as the former has dismissed dozens of Indian staffers from service who were working at its diplomatic missions in India over the Indian regime’s plan to assassinate pro-Khalistani Sikhs on Canadian soil.

Relations between Canada and India started deteriorating last year when tens of thousands of Canadian Sikhs voted for Khalistan Referendum in several Canadian cities on the call of Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), led by Gurpatwant Singh Pannun who is a dual Canadian and US national. 

The relations hit rock bottom when Indian assassinated SFJ and Khalistan Referendum’s Canada coordinator Hardeep Singh Nijjar at the Canada’s biggest Gurdwara in June 2023 and also tried to kill Pannun in New York.

A spokesperson for the Canadian High Commission stated that the reduction in the number of Indian employees was required in light of the country’s shrinking Canadian workforce. “I can confirm that the Government of Canada has implemented some staff reductions across our network of missions in India,” the official said.

The spokesperson, however, said that the high commission expressed its sincere gratitude for the resilience, dedication, and service of its local staff in India.

After the murder of top Khalistani Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Colombia, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged that India was behind Nijjar’s assassination, which prompted India to order 41 ambassadorial staff members of Canada to leave the country.

Last week, Trudeau had once against taken up the issue of the killing of Nijjar by the Indian intelligence agencies on Canadian soil last year and asserted that his government stood up to defend the rights and freedoms of all Canadians.

"I will say that the principle that anyone who comes to Canada from anywhere in the world has all the rights of a Canadian to be free from extortion, coercion, and interference from a country that they left behind and how we have stood up for Canadians, including in the very serious case that I brought forward to Parliament of the killing of (Hardeep Singh) Nijjar, demonstrates our government's commitment to defending the rights and freedoms of Canadians," he said.

Last year, India had expelled 41 Canadian diplomats to ensure diplomatic parity, prompting Canada to close its Mumbai, Chandigarh, and Bengaluru consulates for in-person operations. Reports said that India was surprised to see Canada's closure of consulate services, as the expulsion of diplomats was intended to achieve diplomatic parity only at the respective high commissions in Delhi and Ottawa.

The SFJ had called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to immediately expel India’s High Commissioner to Canada Sanjay Verma from Canada after the Canadian prime minister confirmed that the Indian government was behind Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar's assassination in Vancouver.