London, October 7: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said he hopes to see a de-escalation of the India-Canada diplomatic row in a call with his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau, which was dominated by the standoff over the killing of a Sikh separatist leader in June. According to a Downing Street statement, the British Indian leader spoke to Trudeau on Friday evening during which he was updated on the situation relating to Canadian diplomats in India. Both leaders agreed to stay in contact as Sunak reaffirmed the UK position of respect for the rule of law after Canada‘s allegation of Indian involvement in the killing of a pro-Khalistan wanted terrorist.

“Prime Minister Trudeau updated on the situation relating to Canadian diplomats in India,” reads the Downing Street statement. “The Prime Minister [Sunak] reaffirmed the UK's position that all countries should respect sovereignty and the rule of law, including the principles of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. He hoped to see a de-escalation in the situation and agreed to remain in contact with Prime Minister Trudeau on the next steps,” it said. India-Canada Diplomatic Row: Want Everyone To Help Advance Investigation in Hardeep Singh Nijjar Killing, Says US Special Envoy James Rubin.

The call comes in the wake of Trudeau's statement in the Canadian Parliament last month that its security forces were "actively pursuing credible allegations" linking Indian government agents to the murder of Khalistan Tiger Force leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia in June, an allegation strongly rejected by India as “absurd and motivated”.

It comes in the days after the fallout of that diplomatic row resonated in the UK when Indian High Commissioner to the UK Vikram Doraiswami was blocked from a planned visit to Glasgow Gurdwara in Scotland last week by pro-Khalistan extremists. India-Canada Tensions: Canadian Allegations Against India ‘Serious’, Need To Be Fully Investigated, Says US.

“Concerned to see that the Indian High Commissioner, Vikram Doraiswami, was stopped from meeting with the Gurudwara Committee at the Gurudwara in Glasgow. The safety and security of foreign diplomats is of utmost importance and our places of worship in the UK must be open to all,” Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the UK Foreign Office minister for Indo-Pacific wrote on X.

In recent developments, the Ministry External Affairs (MEA) said it has been coordinating with its mission in Ottawa and consulates in other Canadian cities over safety concerns.

“We have been taking up concerns of security of our diplomats and premises from people there who are wanted by our security and our judicial systems, and we will continue to do that as that is a continued conversation. The issue is about security, and our diplomats are safe and the community is not targeted,” said MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in New Delhi.