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Families of Indians living in Canada worried amid strained diplomatic ties

Amid strains in ties between New Delhi and Ottawa over killing of a Khalistani leader, families of those who are either studying or working in Canada demanded both nations resolve the issue amicably

India Canada

Press Trust of India Kapurthala/Hoshiarpur

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Amid strains in ties between New Delhi and Ottawa over the killing of a Khalistani leader, families of those who are either studying or working in Canada are worried and demanded that both nations resolve the issue amicably.
India on Thursday "suspended till further notice" its visa services in Canada. The move comes amid the escalating diplomatic row that erupted following Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau's allegations of a "potential" involvement of Indian agents in the killing of a Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June. India has rejected the charge as absurd.
The escalating diplomatic row between India and Canada has left many families in Punjab anxious.
Canada is one of the preferred countries for people from Punjab to study and settle down.
Rishipal, a local shopkeeper in Kapurthala, said that he is worried about the safety of his daughter, who went to Canada eight months ago on a study visa.
Gopal, a resident of Gandhi Nagar locality in Ludhiana district, said that his two sons have gone to Canada for higher studies. He added that he was worried about them in the present situation.
Vikas Marwaha, a local businessman in Hoshiarpur, also expressed concern about the security and future of his son Sahil Marwaha who went to Toronto on a work permit visa about one-and-a-half years ago.
The Indian government's latest move to suspend visa services in Canada has also upset plans of the Canadian citizens who wish to visit their native places in Punjab.
75-year-old Madan Lal Sharma and his wife, residents of Kapurthala district, said they returned from Canada five days ago. Sharma said that their children -- Atul Sharma and Amit Sharma -- who are Canadian citizens were planning to come to India to attend a function.
But with the suspension of visa services now, they will not be able to come to India, he added. The couple expressed hope that both nations would settle the issue amicably in the interest of their countrymen.
38-year-old Arshpal Singh and his wife are scheduled to go to Canada on a work permit on October 12. Singh said he is a little worried but hopes this issue will end soon. The couple has resigned from their respective jobs to settle in Canada.
Inderpal Singh, a representative of Kapurthala-based immigration consultancy services company, said that he received phone calls from eight to nine Canadian citizens who wish to visit India to attend marriage ceremonies in the month of November this year.
Singh said that they have cancelled their hotel bookings and tickets due to strained relations between the two countries. He added it will adversely affect their business as well.
Hoshiarpur-based eye surgeon Dr Balwinderjit Singh said his brother Maninder and his family had moved to Canada about eight years ago. With the suspension of visa services for the Canadian citizens, it will be difficult for them to visit their native place in India, he added.
The India-Canada ties have been on a downward spiral in view of the increasing activities of the pro-Khalistani elements in the North American country. India believes the Trudeau government is not addressing its genuine concerns.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Sep 21 2023 | 9:34 PM IST

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