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External affairs minister S Jaishankar on Sunday said India invoked diplomatic parity for Canada forcing the North American country to withdraw 41 of its diplomats, because of concerns about “continuous interference” in the country’s affairs by Canadian personnel.
“There’s this whole issue of parity that the size of how many diplomats there are of one country versus how many diplomats there are of the other country. Parity is very much provided for by the Vienna Convention, which is the relevant international rule on this”, the minister was quoted by ANI as saying.
“But in our case, we invoked parity because we had concerns about continuous interference in our affairs by Canadian personnel. We haven’t made much of that public. My sense is over a period of time more stuff will come out and people will understand why we had the kind of discomfort with many of them which we did”, he added.
The tensions between India and Canada escalated after the Justin Trudeau government announced that it had called back 41 diplomats. The withdrawal came a day before the deadline set by India, failing which they were liable to lose their diplomatic immunity.
New Delhi had sought “parity” in the strength of Canada’s diplomatic presence by bringing down those stationed in the country from 62 to 21. Trudeau called India’s actions as violation of Geneva convention. “The Government of India decided to unilaterally revoke the diplomatic immunity of 40 Canadian diplomats in India. This is a violation of the Vienna Convention governing diplomacy…It is something that all countries in the world should be worried about and this is putting aside the allegations we made of a serious violation of international law with the alleged killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil that the Indian government could have been involved in”, the Canadian premier had said.
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