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Visa Issuances to Canadians Delayed as Security Concerns Persist : India’s High Commissioner to Canada


Visa Issuances to Canadians Delayed as Security Concerns Persist : India’s High Commissioner to Canada
Visa Issuances to Canadians Delayed as Security Concerns Persist : India’s High Commissioner to Canada 4

The resumption of visa issuances to Canadian citizens remains uncertain, as India’s High Commissioner to Canada, Sanjay Kumar Verma, cited an unfavorable environment for conducting normal diplomatic and consular functions. Verma emphasized ongoing security challenges linked to pro-Khalistan elements targeting Indian diplomats and missions, leading to a cautious approach in visa services. While he did not explicitly name groups like Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), he pointed out the need to address the root causes of security threats to ensure a safer environment for diplomatic operations.

Verma acknowledged that security threats stemmed from a small number of anti-India elements in Canada. These elements organize protests and activities against India, leading to concerns for the safety of Indian diplomats and consular officials. The presence of these elements continues to pose challenges, making it difficult to conduct regular diplomatic and consular functions.

Pro-Khalistan groups have been active in Canada, staging rallies and protests against Indian authorities. They have targeted Indian diplomatic missions, including the High Commission in Ottawa and Consulates in Toronto and Vancouver. During these demonstrations, they displayed posters labeling Indian officials, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, as ‘Enemies of Canada.’ SFJ, one of the prominent pro-Khalistan groups, has announced various programs, including the upcoming Khalistan Referendum in Surrey on October 29.

To address the security concerns, Canada has provided personal security details to Indian diplomats and enhanced security coverage of diplomatic missions. However, Verma stressed that improved security for key diplomats and consular officials does not indicate an overall improvement in the security environment. It merely allows limited physical movement while the challenges persist, preventing the normal conduct of diplomatic and consular functions.

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