“India Escalates Diplomatic Spat by Suspending Visas for Canadians!
India's diplomatic spat with Canada has deepened after the Indian government opted to temporarily suspend all existing visas for Canadian nationals. This comes in response to Canada protesting the perceived repression of peaceful protestors in India as the latter responded to the farmers' stir in late 2020. The dispute between the two nations began when Canada called on the Indian government to release detained protesters who were peacefully participating in the protests that arose from three farm bills that passed in Indian parliament. Although the Indian government responded saying that the protesting farmers were actually political agitators with further separatist agenda, Canada was unconvinced with the justification provided and launched its own investigation in early 2021. In response, India has now temporarily suspended all existing visas for Canadian nationals, along with denying the processing of fresh visa applications. Experts suggest that this will affect not only students and businesspersons, but also professionals from fields such as medicine, engineering and research. The escalation of the diplomatic dispute between India and Canada could have a long-term repercussion for Indians looking to come to Canada for business opportunities or for educational or research purposes. However, it could also impact negatively on Canadians residing in India, including those who are part of the Indian diaspora in Canada. The Indian government has not clarified the timeline behind the suspension of the visas, however, it is expected that the suspension will be in place until an effective resolution between India and Canada is reached, signalling a potential end to a bitter diplomatic clash.