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Trudeau will not meet Capt Amarinder during Punjab visit: Canadian media

Amarinder Singh had earlier said that he is “looking forward to have meaningful talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau” during his India visit.

punjab Updated: Feb 16, 2018 18:42 IST
Indo-Asian News Service, Ottawa [Canada]
Justin Trudeau,Trudeau in India,Trudeau in Amritsar
Capt Amarinder Singh and Justin Trudeau. (HT Photos)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will not meet with Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, according to Canadian media reports.

According to sources, Trudeau will not meet with Amarinder, who has publicly accused members of Trudeau’s cabinet of being connected to the formation of Khalistan, a separate Sikh state movement.

As per media reports, Amarinder was to accompany Trudeau to the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

However, officials in the Canadian Prime Minister’s Office have said that no such meeting is planned.

“We have nothing planned with him (Amarinder) at this time,” said a Canadian official.

The development comes after Amarinder called Canadian defence minister Harjit Singh Sajjan as a ‘Khalistani sympathiser’, during the latter’s visit to India in April last year.

The Punjab chief minister had made the comment on Sajjan since he felt that the Canadian defence minister was allegedly advocating for the formation of Khalistan.

However, Canada has repeatedly stated that it did not support any type of Sikh extremism.

“Trudeau has to find a way to nip this all in the bud”, said Shuvaloy Majumdar, a senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute for Public Policy and former policy adviser to ex-foreign affairs minister of Canada John Baird.

“It is absolutely essential the government of Canada repudiate terror in all its forms. The vast majority of Canadian Sikhs are not involved in or supportive of the Khalistan movement, particularly the extremist end of it, he added. But Trudeau’s tendency to appear at events where Khalistani leaders are also featured, whether intentional or otherwise, has not gone unnoticed, he warned.

The Canadian government wants the trip to be about far more than the Sikh independence ties. With 1.3 million Indians living in Canada, the community is fast growing and influential both politically and economically in the country.

A Canadian government delegation paid a visit to the Golden Temple in Amritsar on Thursday, ahead of Trudeau’s visit to India. The Canadian Prime Minister will visit the Golden Temple on February 21.

Trudeau will travel to India for a state visit from February 17 to 23.

The visit - which includes stopovers in Agra, Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, and New Delhi - will provide an opportunity for Trudeau to connect with the Indian leaders in government and business, promote empowerment of women and girls, and strengthen Canada and India’s close economic ties.

The prime ministers of India and Canada will reaffirm the close friendship between the two countries, and discuss ways to further deepen bilateral cooperation.

Trudeau will also participate in several business roundtables to promote further trade and investment between Canada and India, where Canada will work closely with Indian leaders to advance economic opportunities in both countries.

First Published: Feb 16, 2018 18:41 IST