India on Sunday said that it invoked diplomatic parity on Canadian diplomats present in the country owing to "continuous interference" in its domestic affairs.
"There's this whole issue of parity that the size of how many diplomats there are of one country versus how many diplomats there are of the other country. Parity is very much provided for by the Vienna Convention, which is the relevant international rule on this," External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said while speaking at an event.
"In our case, we invoked parity because we had concerns about continuous interference in our affairs by Canadian personnel. We haven't made much of that public," he added.
He went on to add that over time, "more stuff will come out and people will understand why we had the kind of discomfort with many of them which we did".
On the issue of visa services in Canada, Jaishankar said: "The relationship right now is going through a difficult phase. But I do want to say the problems we have are with a certain segment of Canadian politics and the policies which flow from that. Right now the big concern which people have is on visas.
"Some weeks ago, we stopped issuing visas in Canada because it was no longer safe for our diplomats to go to work to issue visas. So their safety and security was the primary reason we had to temporarily stop the issue of visas. We are tracking it very closely."
The External Affairs Minister further said: "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," he added.