'Deteriorating security in Canada': MEA issues travel advisory for Indian Students in another tit-for-tat action
MEA's travel advisory for Indians in Canada came hours after Canada issued an advisory urging its citizens not to travel to border areas of India near Pakistan including Manipur.-
The tense diplomatic situation between India and Canada escalated after New Delhi on Wednesday issued a travel advisory for its citizens living or planning to go to Justin Trudeau-ruled country.MEA's travel advisory for Indians in Canada came hours after Canada issued an advisory urging its citizens not to travel to border areas of India near Pakistan without any iota of evidence. Canada pointed out that there is a threat of terrorist attacks all over India and hence urged its citizens to not travel to the country or if they are already there then contact their high commission.
MEA in its advisory stated, "Advisory for Indian Nationals and Indian Students in Canada..In view of growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada, all Indian nationals there and those contemplating travel are urged to exercise utmost caution...Recently, threats have particularly targeted Indian diplomats and sections of the Indian community who oppose the anti-India agenda."
"Indian nationals are therefore advised to avoid travelling to regions and potential venues in Canada that have seen such incidents. Our High Commission/Consulates General will continue to be in contact with the Canadian authorities to ensure the safety and well-being of the Indian community in Canada. Given the deteriorating security environment in Canada, Indian students in particular are advised to exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant."
For Indian students, India's MEA wrote, "Indian nationals and students from India in Canada must also register with the High Commission of India in Ottawa or Consulates General of India in Toronto and Vancouver through their respective websites or the MADAD portal madad.gov.in. Registration would enable the High Commission and the Consulates General to better connect with Indian citizens in Canada in the event of any emergency or untoward incident."
It is pertinent to mention here that a report suggests that as of 2023, there were 319,130 international students from India enrolled in Canadian institutions. A 2023 report further stated that in 2022, Canada processed over 360,000 study permit applications from Indian students. This record high was 55% more than in 2021. It led to 195,000 Indian students being approved to study in Canada in 2022.
Justin Trudeau on backfoot after US, UK snub
Notably, hours after India's tit-for-tat action against Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau toned down his 'absurd' allegations. and stated that he is not trying to provoke New Delhi. "The government of India needs to take this matter with utmost seriousness. We are doing just that... We are not looking to provoke or escalate," Trudeau said in the morning briefing before the House of Commons started. It is pertinent to mention here that Trudeau's tilt to Khalistani outfits came after he has been facing flak from his countrymen over inflation, unemployment, expensive housing taxes and more. Apart from this, Punjabis account for 2.6% of Canada’s total population, with a figure of about 950,000. 770,000 out of these are Sikhs, marking significant representation. Hence, it is quite evident that Trudeau is looking score some brownie points by winning Sikhs votes in the country in order to remain in power.