Cutting across party lines, Punjab politicians called for an early resolution to the Indo-Canadian stalemate that has resulted in Canada pausing visa and consular services in the three centres of Chandigarh, Mumbai and Bengaluru.
Malwinder Singh Kang, chief spokesperson Aam Aadmi Party, Punjab, called it a very unfortunate development. “It is very sad that visa consular services at Chandigarh , Mumbai and Bengaluru have been stopped by the Canadian government. We urge govt of Punjab to take up the matter with the Canadian government at the top priority.”
Kang said this action has a direct impact on NRIs settled in Canada and the Punjabi community in India. “Canada is like a mini Punjab in many cities, and the period from November to March sees a significant influx of NRIs visiting their home state of Punjab. This benefits Punjab both economically and in terms of strengthening the social bonds between Punjabis in India and Canada. The issue demands immediate attention without unnecessary delays.”
Sunil Jakhar, president of BJP Punjab, also called for an early resolution of the issue. Speaking with The Indian Express, he said, “We do not want our students to suffer. During Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to Amritsar in the recent past, I had taken up the matter with him, suggesting that instead of stopping visa services altogether, there can be some screening when they land here so that the genuine visitors can come to India.”
Jakhar added, “No doubt, there can be some implications on the Punjabi community settled in Canada and even Punjabis here in India. But it hurts Canada as well. Over 14 lakhs of Punjabis settled in Canada are their citizens, and it is the duty of the Canadian government to relook into their actions and policies. They need to reconsider their attitude