The leader of Canada’s main opposition political party, lamenting Canada’s deteriorating ties with India, slammed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and said that he is considered a “laughing stock in India”. The party’s leader, Pierre Poilievre, has vowed to restore a “professional relationship with India”.
Poilievre leads the largest opposition group in Canada’s House of Commons and currently holds a large lead over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party in public opinion polls, though no election is expected until 2025.
In an interview with Nepalese media outlet Namaste Radio Toronto, Poilievre promised to restore a professional relationship with India if voted to power.
When asked about Canadian diplomats being asked to leave India, the 44-year-old said, “This is another example of how Justin Trudeau is not worth the cost after eight long years. He has turned Canadians against each other at home and he has blown up our relations abroad.”
“He is so incompetent and unprofessional that now we are in major disputes with every major power in the world, and that includes India,” he added.
41 Canadian diplomats were withdrawn from India last week as tensions flared after Trudeau suggested Indian agents might have been involved in the June murder of a Khalistani terrorist in Canada.
Canada has called for India to cooperate in the investigation but New Delhi has rejected the allegations and taken countermeasures, such as shutting down visa services for Canadians. Also, Canada is yet to provide any public evidence to support the claim about the killing of Nijjar.
Slamming Trudeau, Poilievre said that Canada needs a professional relationship with India, the “largest democracy on Earth”.
India is the largest democracy on Earth and it’s fine to have our disagreements and hold each other accountable, but we have to have a professional relationship and that is what I will restore when I am prime minister of this country,” the conservative party leader said.
Justin Trudeau recently doubled down and said that the Indian government’s crackdown on Canadian diplomats was making normal life difficult for millions of people in both countries.
“The Indian government is 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,” Trudeau said.
India-Canada relations going through difficult phase – Jaishankar
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Sunday that India invoked the provision of parity in Canada’s diplomatic presence in the country in view of concerns over interference in New Delhi’s affairs by Canadian personnel. Jaishankar said the relationship between India and Canada right now is going through a difficult phase, adding that India has problems with certain segment of Canadian politics.
The external affairs minister also said that India would restart issuing visas to the citizens of Canada only when the security of its diplomats in that country would be ensured. He said that New Delhi had been concerned over “continuous interference” by Canada’s diplomats in the internal affairs of India.
My hope, my expectation is that situation would improve in the sense that our people would have greater confidence in being able to do their basic duty as diplomats. Because ensuring safety and security of diplomats is the most fundamental aspect of the Vienna Convention. And right now that is what has in many ways been challenged in Canada that our people are not safe, our diplomats are not safe. So if we see progress there, I would like very much to resume the issue of visas. My hope would be that it would be something which should happen very soon…”
New Delhi has been accusing the Liberal Party government of ignoring its repeated calls to curb the Khalistani Sikh extremists, who were running a secessionist campaign against India from Canada. Trudeau’s government also ignored several requests from New Delhi to extradite Khalistani Sikh extremist leaders from Canada to India.