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Canada’s actions are in violation of Vienna Convention

  • Published
    23rd Oct, 2023
Context:

Recently, External Affairs Minister of India has mentioned that Canada’s action against India, are against Vienna Convention.

Background:
  • Due to the ongoing diplomatic tussle between Canada and India new developments keep surfacing in the background.
  • In this regard recently Indian Foreign minister mentioned that Ensuring diplomats’ safety is most fundamental part of Vienna Convention.
  • India is reviewing security situation that led to Indian missions suspending visa services in Canada.

Concerns Raised by India:

  • Diplomats' Safety Violation: India has accused Canada of violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, asserting that ensuring the safety and security of diplomats is the most fundamental aspect of the convention.
  • Pro-Khalistan Threats: India is closely tracking the situation in Canada and has pointed to threats made by pro-Khalistan groups that called for the murder of Indian diplomats. These threats have escalated tensions.
  • Certain Canadian Politics: Without specifying names, India highlighted its issues with a "certain segment" of Canadian politics, suggesting that this segment supports pro-Khalistan elements.
  • Parity in Diplomatic Representation: India's main concern is not just the withdrawal or expulsion of diplomats but the principle of "parity." It argues that Canada maintains a significantly higher number of diplomats in India.
  • Interference in Domestic Affairs: India accused Canadian diplomats stationed in the country of interfering in its domestic affairs, indicating a need for them to refrain from such involvement.

What are Vienna Convention and its Importance?

  • The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is an international treaty that governs the conduct of diplomatic relations between independent countries. It was adopted in 1961 and entered into force in 1964.
    • The primary purpose of this convention is to ensure the smooth functioning of diplomacy by regulating the privileges and immunities of diplomats, as well as the rights and responsibilities of both sending and receiving states.
  • One of the most fundamental principles is diplomatic immunity.
    • It grants diplomats certain privileges and immunities, such as immunity from arrest, civil jurisdiction, and taxation in the host country. This immunity ensures that diplomats can carry out their duties without fear of legal harassment.
  • The convention emphasizes the importance of respecting the sovereignty of the receiving state. Diplomats must not interfere in the internal affairs of the host country.
  • The convention establishes that diplomatic premises, such as embassies and consulates, are inviolable. The host country is obligated to protect these premises from intrusion or damage.
  • Diplomats and their families are exempt from some local laws of the host country. However, this exemption is not absolute and should not be abused.
  • The convention sets out procedures for the termination of diplomatic relations, protecting the interests of both parties when such a decision is made.
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