India and Canada Relationship and Standoff

India and Canada Relationship

India and Canada have very old Bilateral Relations which share traditions of Democracy, Cultural and Political Ties. Canada is the centre of the largest Indian Diaspora with approximately 4 percent of Canadians being of Indian Heritage. This Indian Diaspora majorly consists of Sikhs and Punjabi Population of India. This Huge Diaspora is the reason for the Deep cultural and Political ties between Canada and India. It was Strengthened by an increasing network of Official Agreements, Dialogues, and Memorandum of Understanding.

India and Canada Relationship

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India is Canada’s 10th largest trading Partner. India and Canada are also connected through a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement. Canada also supports India’s energy security and ambitions related to the environment through increased exports of Renewable energy and clean technology, wind, solar, and Hydro Energy. Fertilizers and Pulses are the two big imports from Canada.

India imports many things from Canada from last several years . Canada is fifth largest supplier of Coking coal to India. Canada supplied 28.96 Lakh Tonnes of coking coal. Canada is also India’s biggest source of Potassium chloride. Other than Canada, India also imports Potassium Chloride from Israel , Jordan, Belarus , Turkmenistan and Russia . India is a significant importer of pulses with masur being the biggest after Arhar . India’s total Pigeon pea or Masur imports stood 8.58 lt in 2022-23. Other than these items are Newsprint and Wood Pulp is also imported by Canada.

India and Canada Standoff

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India and Canada are dealing with a diplomatic Crisis that can have political and Geopolitical Consequences. It began after Canada’s Prime Minister Mr. Justin Trudeau dropped an allegation that the Indian Parliament may have indulged in the murder of a Khalistani Separatist in Canada in June. Justin Trudeau also wanted to raise this issue during the G20 Submit when Narender Modi had talked about the concerns related to Pro-Khalistani Elements in Canada.

The Rapid Diplomatic Escalation shows the seriousness of the crisis which is different from India’s earlier standoffs with other countries like Pakistan and China because of the Nature of Canada’s allegations . India and Canada Foreign Policy is always influenced by its large immigrant Population and Sikh Diaspora. The Diplomatic Escalation happened quickly and shows the seriousness of the crisis.  

Canada took the first step to give birth to this crisis, by expelling an Indian Diplomat posted in Ottawa then India also responded by expelling a Canadian diplomat based in New Delhi. India also issues a travel advisory for Indian nationals traveling to Canada as well as a caution for the Indian community in Canada. Students, Professionals, and Tourists were asked to be cautious. India suspended visa services in Canada.

The Big issue for India is the safe haven that Canada has provided to separatist Khalistani Groups . The Pro-Khalistani elements – who are a small minority in the Canadian Sikh Community. Estimates suggest that of the about 20 lakh Indian Diaspora , only about 8 lakh are Sikh.  Sikhs influence the political scenario of the Canadians Foreign Policy. This small population of Khalistanis controls 12-15 gurudwaras where they generate funds and organize political mobilisation by voting for Canadian Political Candidates . Thus , these Khalistani Population plays an important role in the Canadian politics. As per the Canada Sources , United States of America gave intel to Canada which discarded by India . The Intelligence Agency of America provides information regarding India involvment in the Najjar murder case that is core political scenario in Canada’s politics.

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