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Trade negotiations between India and Canada have been put on hold due to what Indian officials describe as “certain political developments.” While both sides suggest that this pause should not be overinterpreted, it underscores India’s displeasure with Canada’s handling of issues that are important to India.
Earlier this month, Canada announced the suspension of negotiations for an agreement without providing a specific reason. An Indian official stated, “India has shown strong resentment against certain political developments in Canada, and therefore, for the time being, until these political issues are settled, we have paused the negotiations.”
One of the key concerns for India is Canada’s perceived tolerance of Khalistan supporters, which has strained relations with the Trudeau government. This issue, along with concerns about secessionist activities and threats against the Indian community in Canada, was conveyed to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his visit to India for the G20 Summit.
During his visit, Trudeau faced difficulties as his plane developed problems, leading to a delay in his travel plans. India has taken a strong stance against Canada’s political developments, and this has affected diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The trade talks were focused on an early harvest scheme or a preliminary free trade agreement. India was particularly interested in streamlining the visa process for students and professionals, making it easier for them to travel to Canada.
Despite this pause in negotiations with Canada, India continues to engage in trade discussions with other countries, including the UK, European Union, Australia, and the Gulf Cooperation Council, as part of its efforts to boost international trade agreements.