Recent reports on the comments made by Visa officers in Canadian High Commission in New Delhi while rejecting Visa to Indians from security agencies like Police, Border Security Force [BSF], intelligence Bureau [IB] and Army are grossly objectionable. Visa officers have branded Indian security agencies as human right violators and made grossly offensive comments. Their comments were for the whole agencies, not for a specific individual. One must note that there is no court decision against these security officers, proving them the criminals or violators of human rights. In the eyes of Canadian High Commission, they were criminals as they were from Indian security agencies and worked in border areas like Jammu & Kashmir. They were therefore not suitable for a Canadian Visa. What a ridiculous and stupid argument! Which planet are the Canadian High Commission officials living in?
Here are some of the links.
Indian security agencies have to deal with insurgents from inside and outside. They do a very difficult job in very difficult circumstances. They work within the boundary of rules and are under the overall direction of the civilian Govt of India which is a democratic country. Indian army and other security agencies are highly disciplined forces, not like some private renegade militia.
While issuing Visa is a prerogative of Canada but making objectionable comments is simply unacceptable. Security officers do a difficult job anywhere and Indians are no exception. By no count, they can be equated with criminals.
Canadian High Commission in new Delhi should be openly reminded that the conduct of the security agencies of some of the western countries is appalling. Abu Gharib prison in Iraq is just one example. Will they refuse Visa or entry permits to USA security officials? Will they go against those who went in Iraq on the pretext of WMD with hardly any evidence and caused severe damage and suffering to people? I am definite that the answers to these questions will be in negative.
Canadian Visa officers’ behaviour is indicative of their double standards and a peculiar western mindset which allows a holier than thou and patronising attitude towards Asian countries in general and India in particular.
Today, Canadian minister for Immigration & citizenship, Jason Kenney, has expressed “deep regrets” for these comments and has said that Canada has high regards for Indian security agencies. Minister Kenney says [from TOI] that “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.” It is nice to hear this from Minister Kenney but is Canada going to reverse its refusal to issue Visa to these security officers?
With what Minister Kenney said, one wonders about who these visa officers are accountable to? Whose policies are they following? How can they make these comments?
I must admit that I found these comments deeply offensive. I am glad that Indian Home affairs secretary raised these matters with Ministry of External Affairs [MEA] which has taken this up with Canadian High Commission. Reports from India state that Canadian High commissioner was summoned to MEA twice during last week.
My view is that the relevant visa officers must be re-trained, reprimanded or better withdrawn from India. India and Indians must not tolerate their arrogant, disrespectful and unwarranted comments.
India is proud of its security agencies and we must not allow any one to cast aspersion on their work.
If Canada does not reverse its actions, India should refuse Visa to Canada’s security officers.
Enough is enough!
Yadu Singh/Sydney/28th May, 2010