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Trudeau trying to manage damage he inflicted: Experts

Weighing in on the diplomatic row, former diplomat KP Fabian rued the fact that tensions between the two countries were showing no signs of a let-up

Trudeau trying to manage damage he inflicted: Experts

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

NEW DELHI: As Justin Trudeau introduced a fresh sour note in bilateral ties with India, amid the continuing diplomatic standoff; affirming his earlier claim of Indian involvement in the killing of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, strategic experts on Sunday said the cat was set among the pigeons by the Canadian Prime Minister himself and he is now trying to "manage the situation".

Speaking to ANI, Foreign Affairs analyst Robinder Sachdev said it was very "irresponsible" of Trudeau to make the allegations against New Delhi when the investigation is still ongoing and has not yet pointed to Indian involvement.

He also pointed out that it was it was Ottawa that first expelled an Indian diplomat, and, as is customary in the realms of diplomacy, New Delhi is expected to retaliate.

"Justin Trudeau is trying to manage the damage that was inflicted by him only...he is accusing India of violating the Vienna Convention. It should be asked, who expelled the first diplomat. It was Canada that expelled a senior Indian diplomat. Now, reciprocity is the principle of diplomacy. So, once you trigger the situation, India will retaliate," Speaking told ANI.

"He is still saying that we have serious doubts and we are investigating. So he made such big claims even before the investigation was complete. It was a huge mistake from the point of diplomacy and Canada is bearing its brunt," he added.

Weighing in on the diplomatic row, former diplomat KP Fabian rued the fact that tensions between the two countries were showing no signs of a let-up, adding that it was Trudeau himself who started the tension.

"Regarding the expulsion of 41 Canadian diplomats. To get the story right, Canada expelled one diplomat and in tit-for-tat, India expelled one Canadian diplomat. Thereafter, India said that there are many Canadian diplomats in India, as compared to Indian diplomats in Canada. And the Canadian diplomats are interfering in Indian matters. Therefore, there has to be parity and 41 diplomats have to leave," Fabian told ANI.

"Canada's contention that India has violated the Vienna Convention is not exactly correct. The host country has the authority to decide the number of diplomats on its territory," he added. On India voting in favour of the resolution against the increasing of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, foreign expert Sachdev called New Delhi's move "right and principled'.

"India has rightly voted Israel increasing its settlements in West Bank. It is our principled position and in fact, most of the countries supported this resolution. This is because in the long-term, the issue of Israel-Palestine has to be resolved with a two-state solution. Israel is increasing its settlements in the area which is a clear violation of any international norm, " Sachdev said.

"Yes, we have very good relations with Israel and we stand with them against terrorism, but that doesn't mean that we won't point out if our friend is doing anything wrong. This is also bad for Israel. The ongoing war in Gaza is also because of these increasing settlements by Israel," he added.

Fabian also applauded the move, stating that India's stand on the issue has always been balanced. "It's a good thing because India's policy on this matter has been balanced...India has correctly voted for a resolution that condemns the Israeli settlements in Golan Heights, Syria, occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem," Fabian said.

Earlier on Saturday, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau accused New Delhi of violating the Vienna Convention by "kicking out" 40 diplomats at a time when his country had reached out to the former and other global partners to get to the bottom of the murder. Issuing a warning, the Canadian PM said if bigger countries can "violate international law without consequences", it will make the world "more dangerous".

Trudeau, however, added that Canada wants to "work constructively" with India, adding that Ottawa "will always stand up to the rule of law".

Last month, Canada pulled out 41 diplomats from India and also halted its visa and consular services in Chandigarh, Mumbai, and Bengaluru consulates in the wake of the Union government's decision to strip them of their immunity.

This came after New Delhi conveyed its concerns to Ottawa over the disproportionate number of diplomats in India and sought a 'parity' in diplomatic strength. Accusing India of violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said Ottawa removed 41 diplomats and their 42 dependents from India amid the ongoing diplomatic sabre-rattling between the two countries.

However, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) responded by saying that no international norms were violated in India seeking parity in the mutual diplomatic presence in New Delhi and Ottawa. Earlier, in September this year, Trudeau alleged the involvement of "agents of the Indian government" in the killing of the Khalistani terrorist.

India rejected the allegations as "absurd and motivated" and expelled a Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move after Ottawa asked a senior Indian diplomat to leave. New Delhi also halted visa services to Canada but later decided to resume services for four categories after a "considered review of the security situation".

Notably, Canada has not been able to present any evidence to back its claims over the killing, according to the MEA.

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