India’s decision to partially restore visa services for Canadians is a welcome step, but it is too early to say whether it signals a thaw in India-Canada diplomatic relations.
India and Canada have been at odds since December 2021, when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India of being involved in the killing of a Sikh separatist leader in Canada.
India denied the allegations and retaliated by expelling Canada’s intelligence chief in Ottawa and reducing Canada’s diplomatic presence in India.
In October 2023, India partially restored visa services for Canadians, but it is unclear whether this is a sign that India is ready to move on from the dispute.
Some experts believe that India is simply trying to ease the pain for Canadians who are planning to travel to India for the wedding season.
Others believe that India is using the visa issue as a bargaining chip in its negotiations with Canada on other issues, such as trade and investment.
It is also possible that India is simply testing the waters to see how Canada will react to the visa easing.
If Canada responds positively, it could lead to a further improvement in relations between the two countries.
However, if Canada does not respond positively, India could backtrack on the visa easing and the dispute could drag on.
Overall, it is too early to say whether India’s decision to partially restore visa services for Canadians is a sign of a thaw in India-Canada diplomatic relations.
More time is needed to see how the two countries will interact in the coming weeks and months.
Here are some factors that could affect the future of India-Canada diplomatic relations:
The outcome of the ongoing investigation into the killing of the Sikh separatist leader in Canada
The results of the upcoming elections in India
The willingness of the two countries to compromise on other issues, such as trade and investment
If the two countries are able to resolve the dispute over the Sikh separatist leader and find common ground on other issues,
it could lead to a significant improvement in India-Canada diplomatic relations. However, if the two countries are unable to resolve these issues, the dispute could continue to fester and damage relations between the two countries.