New Delhi: Concerns over interference in New Delhi's affairs by Canadian personnel led to India invoking the provision of parity in Canada's diplomatic presence in the country, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Sunday.
He also said that India is likely to resume issuance of visas to Canadians if it sees progress in the safety of Indian diplomats in Canada.
The ties between India and Canada came under severe strain following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegations last month of a "potential" involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June.
Days after Trudeau's allegations, India announced temporarily suspending the issuance of visas to Canadian citizens and asked Ottawa to downsize its diplomatic presence in the country.
"If we see progress in the safety of our diplomats in Canada, we would like to resume issuance of visas there," Jaishankar said at an event while replying to a question on India-Canada ties.
On downsizing Canada's diplomatic presence in India, he said diplomatic parity is very much provided for in the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations. "Parity is very much provided for by the Vienna Convention, which is the relevant international rule on this. In our case, we invoked parity because we had concerns about continuous interference in our affairs by Canadian personnel," Jaishankar said.
Canada has already withdrawn 41 of its diplomats from India. Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly, announcing the return of the diplomats from India, on Thursday described New Delhi's action as "contrary to international law," and in violation of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations. India has already rejected the charge.
Jaishankar said the relationship between India and Canada right now is going through a difficult phase, adding that India has problems with certain segments of Canadian politics.