Canada visa denial row blows over

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney expresses regret over faux pas

Canada visa denial row blows over

Canada had denied visas to senior serving and retired officers of the Indian armed forces and intelligence establishment. Krishna told mediapersons in Bangalore that his ministry had received a note from Jason T Kenney, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

“He has expressed the sentiment that Canada has the highest regard for India, the government institutions and processes. Krishna said the Canadian government had conveyed that the inaccurate impression created in no way reflected its policy or position.
In a statement e-mailed to mediapersons in New Delhi, Jason Kenney termed the row over the visa-refusal  as “unfortunate incidents”.“It demonstrated that the deliberately broad legislation might create instances, when the net is cast too widely by officials, creating irritants with our trusted and valued international allies. For this reason the admissibility policy within the legislation is under active review at this time,” he said.
“The Government of Canada deeply regrets the recent incident in which letters drafted by public service officials during routine visa refusals to Indian nationals cast false aspersions on the legitimacy of work carried out by Indian defence and security institutions, which operate under the framework of democratic processes and the rule of law,” said the Canadian minister.

He clarified that the language, or the inaccurate impression it created, used by its consular officials in no way reflected his government’s policy or position. Each year, he added, Canada welcomes about 131,000 Indian residents on both temporary and permanent basis, including many individuals from various Indian security forces.
“While, under Canadian law, admissibility to Canada is determined by a number of different criteria, candidate assessments should in no way question Indian institutions which operate under the rule of law and within a democratic framework,” he added.
New Delhi on Thursday even threatened to retaliate by denying Indian visa to the Canadians, who either worked or are working in Afghanistan in operations of US-led International Security Assistance Force.

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