In an updated travel advisory for India, Canada has advised its citizens to exercise a high degree of caution while visiting some states in India. It has asked its people to stay away from Gujarat, Punjab and Rajasthan. It has cited the “presence of landmines” and the “unpredictable security situation” as the reasons behind the advisory against travelling to all these Indian states that share borders with Pakistan. The updated travel advisory also advised Canadians to avoid travelling to Assam, Manipur and the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh due to insurgency and terrorism.
“Avoid all travel to areas within 10 km of the border with Pakistan in the following states due to the unpredictable security situation and presence of landmines and unexploded ordnance: Gujarat, Punjab Rajasthan,” says the advisory.
The Canadian update comes days after the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) advised “due caution and remain vigilant in view of the sharp increase in incidents of hate crimes, sectarian violence and anti-India activities” in Canada.
In an advisory, the Ministry of External Affairs said Indian authorities have raised the matter with their Canadian counterparts. “There has been a sharp increase in incidents of hate crimes, sectarian violence and anti-India activities in Canada. The Ministry of External Affairs and our High Commission/Consulates General in Canada have taken up these incidents with the Canadian authorities and requested them to investigate the said crimes and take appropriate action. The perpetrators of these crimes have not been brought to justice so far in Canada,” the MEA said.
The advisory comes a day after India reacted sharply to the “so-called Khalistan referendum” in Canada, saying it was “deeply objectionable” that such a “politically motivated” activity by extremist elements was allowed to take place in a friendly country.
With 1.83 lakh Indian students pursuing education at various levels in the country, Canada is the second most popular destination for Indians pursuing academic degrees abroad.
MEA data shows that in the first six months of 2022, as many as 60,258 Indians went to Canada for education, making it second only to the US, which saw 64,667 incoming Indian students during the same time period.