Toronto (Canada), October 25 (EFE).- India announced on Wednesday that it will once again issue visas to Canadians, a process it suspended in September after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau implicated New Delhi authorities in the murder on a Sikh leader on Canadian soil.
The move, announced by the Indian embassy in Ottawa in a statement, is the first sign of détente between the two countries and comes days after New Delhi revoked the immunity of 41 Canadian diplomats and forced their departure from India.
Canadian Emergency Services Minister Harjit Singh, who is of Sikh origin, welcomed the decision, but also pointed out in media statements that India should not have suspended the issuance of visas.
“It would have been good if they hadn’t,” Singh said, adding that Canada continues to demand India’s cooperation in the investigation into the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, an Indian-origin Sikh community leader who obtained Canadian citizenship. in 2007.
“I will recall that a Canadian was murdered on Canadian territory and we have requested greater cooperation with the investigation,” the Canadian minister explained.
Singh Nijjar, who was shot by unknown assailants in June this year in western Canada, had been charged with terrorism by the Indian authorities for advocating the creation of an independent state, Khalistan, in Punjab state for the Sikh minority.
In September, Trudeau implicated New Delhi in the murder and asked Indian authorities to cooperate in investigating the crime. But India responded by suspending visas and withdrawing the immunity of 41 of the 62 Canadian diplomats in the Asian country.
The suspension of visa issuance had created serious problems for Canadians scheduled to travel to India. About 1.4 million people of Indian origin live in Canada.
The Canada-India Business Council, which brings together Canadian companies in India, also welcomed the resumption of visa issuance.
“While much work remains to be done to repair relations between the governments of Canada and India, the Council finds the Indian government’s decision to re-process business visas encouraging,” the organization explained in a statement.
The group estimated 600 Canadian companies present in India and 3.6 billion Canadian dollars (2.61 billion US dollars or 2.469 million euros) of Canadian direct investment in India by 2022.