Issue Helpline For Indian Students, NRIs in Canada :Punjab BJP Chief To EAM

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The president of BJP’s Punjab unit, Sunil Jakhar has asked the External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, to set up a helpline number for Indian students and NRIs in Canada, amidst the ongoing diplomatic rift between New Delhi and Ottawa. In his letter to the union minister underlining the grievances of NRIs living in Canada, the Punjab BJP Chief also asked the union minister to release a detailed statement pointing out all the steps and measures taken by the Indian government to safeguard Indians in Canada. 

“This, I am sure, would go a long way in assuaging the sense of deep anxiety, panic and indecision prevailing amongst our people living in Canada and especially in students waiting to go abroad for studies. An assurance from your office would certainly lay to rest the doubts and insecurity of our students who are rightfully concerned about their study plans,” news agency PTI quoted Jakhar as saying in his letter to the Union Minister for External Affairs. 

“I would also request you to institute a dedicated helpline number on which our NRIs and students can contact and seek help from Indian Consulates. A WhatsApp number can be released for Indian students planning to go abroad to get in touch with authorities in case of need and guidance,” Jakhar wrote in his letter.

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“In the wake of unsubstantiated allegations against the Indian Government by the Canadian Prime Minister; the diplomatic relationship between the two countries has understandably been on a downward spiral. PM Justin Trudeau has made these absurd and malicious charges only to cater to his domestic political compulsions. The government of India has taken the right stand by strongly countering PM Trudeau’s outburst and has asked for evidence, which does not seem forthcoming,” he was further reported as saying in the letter. 

“While I hope that PM Trudeau realises his folly at the earliest and the matter is resolved in an amicable manner, it is our citizens, a big chunk of them Punjabis, who are likely to be impacted by the current impasse, including the suspension of visas by the Indian Government to keep a security check on entry into India,” the letter was further reported as saying. 

The Punjab BJP chief further stressed that with the winters approaching, this is the time around the year when a significant number of NRIs in Canada, visit their relatives and families in India. However, with the two nations being caught up in diplomatic tensions, Indians and NRIs in Canada are tensed over the situation, he added. 

(With inputs from PTI)

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