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India-Canada Diplomatic Strain: Visa Suspensions and Its Impact on Students

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As diplomatic tensions between India and Canada continue to escalate, the central government of India has taken a crucial decision amidst the ongoing dispute. The decision to suspend visa services for Canadians has left many Canada-bound students from Gujarat and other parts of India in a state of uncertainty.

The strain between both nations cropped up due to Canada‘s pro-Khalistan attitude and the worsening relations surrounding the murder case of Khalistan supporter Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Arindam Bagchi, announced that the visa process for Canadians has been suspended for now due to security concerns disrupting the normal functioning at High Commissions and Consulates in Canada.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has accused Canada of harboring terrorists and allowing Pakistan to aid them. They warned that this could tarnish Canada’s international image as it is becoming a hub for terrorists. The allegations made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau against a possible involvement of Indian agents in Nijjar’s killing were deemed politically motivated by Bagchi.

As a result, diplomatic incidents have unfolded with both countries’ representatives being asked to leave, and travel advisories being updated. This has particularly affected Indian students aspiring to study in Canada, which has consistently been a popular academic destination.

So far this year, 2,26,450 Indian students have travelled to Canada for higher studies. Gujarat contributes a significant number of these students, averaging between 8,000 and 10,000 every year. However, due to heightened anxiety around recent events, many students’ plans have been disrupted or temporarily postponed.

For instance, on September 20th alone, 12-15 students decided to defer their plans for studying in Canada following reports of suspended visa services. Parents and students are closely monitoring events as the situation unfolds.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Question

  1. What is the current status of visa processing for Canadians travelling to India?

Due to operational disruption caused by security threats faced by Indian High Commissions and Consulates in Canada, visa processing for Canadians has been temporarily suspended.

  1. Why have diplomatic relations between Canada and India been strained?

Diplomatic relations have been strained due to Canada’s perceived pro-Khalistan attitude and the controversy surrounding the murder of Khalistan supporter, Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

  1. How have recent events affected students from India planning to study in Canada?

The rising tensions between the two countries have caused anxiety among students and their families, leading some to postpone their plans to study in Canada.

  1. What has the Indian Ministry of External Affairs stated about allegations of Indian agents’ involvement in the Hardeep Singh Nijjar case?

The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, has said that these allegations are politically motivated and should be dismissed.

  1. Is there any indication when normal visa processing may resume for Canadians seeking visas to India?

The situation is currently being reviewed, but no specific timeline has been provided for when normal visa processing might resume.

In conclusion, the dispute between India and Canada has taken a serious turn, resulting in the suspension of visa services for Canadians in India. This decision has directly impacted Indian students with aspirations to study in Canada. The unfolding scenario leaves them uncertain of their future plans and eager to see a diplomatic resolution between the two countries.

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