Canadian PM Trudeau says India's actions 'contrary to international law'
Trudeau condemns India's revocation of diplomatic immunity, cites violation of Vienna Convention
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday, 20 October that India's decision to revoke the diplomatic immunity of 41 Canadian diplomats is a violation of the Vienna Convention and it should worry all countries, hours after New Delhi rejected Ottawa's attempt to portray the implementation of parity as a violation of international norms.
Speaking at a press conference in Brampton, Ontario, he said the Indian government was making it "unbelievably difficult" for life as usual to continue for millions of people in India and in Canada.
"And, they're doing it by contravening a very basic principle of diplomacy," he said.
Trudeau claimed that the actions that India took were contrary to international law.
"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. This is them choosing to contravene a very fundamental principle of international law and diplomacy," he said.
"It is something that all countries in the world should be very 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," he said.
In New Delhi, the Ministry of External Affairs on Friday rejected Canada's attempt to "portray" the withdrawal of 41 Canadian diplomats from the country as a violation of international norms.
India asserted that ensuring two-way diplomatic parity is fully consistent with the provisions of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.
"We reject any attempt to portray the implementation of parity as a violation of international norms," the ministry said in a statement.
"Our actions in implementing this parity are fully consistent with Article 11.1 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations," the statement said.
Trudeau's remarks came after foreign minister Melanie Joly said on Thursday that Canada had withdrawn 41 diplomats following an Indian threat to unilaterally revoke their status by 20 October .
Tensions flared between India and Canada last month following Prime Minister Trudeau's explosive allegations of the "potential" involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on June 18 in British Columbia. India had designated Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020.
India has rejected Trudeau's allegations as "absurd" and "motivated".
"The government of India decided to cancel or revoke the diplomatic protections of 40 diplomats working in India. This is something that has far-reaching consequences for the diplomatic world that I know many, many countries are very worried about," Trudeau said.
He said the move also has "very real impacts" on the millions of people who travel back and forth between India as students, family members for weddings, for businesses and for the growing trade ties between the two countries.
Following the withdrawal of 41 diplomats, Canada has also announced that it will be "pausing" all in-person services at its consulates in Chandigarh, Mumbai and Bengaluru and was directing all Canadians in India to the High Commission in New Delhi.
"This is something that should concern everyone, but it's something that has me very concerned for the well-being and happiness of millions of Canadians who trace their origins to the Indian subcontinent," he said.
- New Delhi
- Vienna Convention
- Justin Trudeau
- international law
- Hardeep Singh Nijjar