Misleading claims are made about Canada’s travel advisory to India

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Claim

Canada lost it or what ? 🧐  #Canada has advised its citizens to avoid all travel to areas in states of #Gujarat, #Punjab and #Rajasthan, which share a border with Pakistan due to the “presence of landmines” and “unpredictable security situation.”

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Explanation

India’s Ministry of External Affairs issued an advisory on 23rd September 2022 to Indian nationals in Canada to remain alert and exercise caution due to sharp increase in incidents of hate crimes, sectarian violence and anti-India activities in Canada. Following this, several news outlets such as ThePrint and Mirror Now reported that Canada had recently issued an advisory to its citizens who are travelling to India to avoid states such as Gujarat, Punjab and Rajasthan. Following this, several users in social media platforms have posted similar tweets and some even criticized Canada’s move which can be seen here, here and here.

 

What’s the truth?

We checked the Canadian Government’s website for its travel advisory to India. In the website, it is mentioned “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 and Rajasthan. This advisory excludes the Wagah border crossing.”

The Canadian Government has not advised to categorically avoid these 3 states but only areas within 10 km of the border with Pakistan. The popular tourist attraction of Wagah Border Crossing is also excluded in this advisory. However, several news outlets had misleading titles which led many to believe that Canada had advised its citizens not to travel to Gujarat, Punjab and Rajasthan though some reported the advisory clearly inside the article. Many social media users shared similar posts criticizing Canada’s advisory.

It is important to note that the advisory also asks to avoid all travel to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir excluding Ladakh in addition to avoiding all non-essential travel to Assam and Manipur. It also asks travelers to exercise high degree of caution in India due to threat of terrorist attacks throughout the country. Similar advisory is issued for travel to Pakistan which asks travelers to avoid areas within 10 km of the borders of India among other countries.

This advisory was issued on 27th September just 4 days after India issued an advisory to its citizens in Canada to exercise caution due to the sharp increase in hate crimes. Recently, High Commission of India in Ottawa, Canada alleged a hate crime in the newly renamed “Shri Bhagavad Gita Park” which turned out to be inaccurate.

 

Conclusion

Several news outlets reported with misleading titles in their articles which said that Canada advised its citizens not to travel to Gujarat, Punjab and Rajasthan. Many social media users also shared similar posts. However, the truth is, Canada had advised only to avoid areas 10 km closer to the border of Pakistan in these 3 states.

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Ramasamy Jayaprakash

Ramasamy works as a Senior Sub-Editor at YouTurn and writes articles in Tamil and English. He also makes videos for YouTurn's Tamil & English YouTube channels.
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