New Delhi: In an attempt to control damage caused by stinging remarks by one of its diplomats against BSF, Canada said it has "great respect" for India`s armed forces and that it was "reviewing the situation" that has arisen.
Canada`s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Catherine Loubier said in an e-mail statement that "vibrant people-to-people" connections are one of the "greatest strengths" of India-Canada relations which continue to be strengthened.
"I would like to stress that Canada has the highest regard for India`s democratic institutions and processes. Canada has great respect for India`s armed forces and related institutions," she said in the statement mailed to a news agency.
The statement came in the wake of revelation of remarks of a First Secretary of the Canadian High Commission here that BSF was a "notoriously violent" force which indulged in "systematic attack" and "systematic torture" of suspected criminals.
The diplomat had made the comments while rejecting the visa application of a retired BSF constable.
The External Affairs Ministry has already taken up the issue with the Canadian government.
"We are reviewing the situation," the Canadian spokesperson said but did not elaborate citing "privacy reasons".
Loubier said India is a country with growing influence on the global stage and "our past has been marked by friendship and by strong ties that bind us closer than ever. We are also democratic nations that are ethnically, spiritually and linguistically diverse."
She noted that the Indo-Canadian community is approximately one million strong and makes significant contributions to the strength of Canada`s economy as well as to people-to-people links between our two countries.
The Canada-India ties continue to strengthen following
the very successful visit to India by a strong delegation led
by Prime Minister Stephen Harper last November, she said.
With regard to visas, Loubier said decisions are made by
public servants following an independent process governed by
the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.