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Who will represent Punjab govt at Trudeau’s reception in Amritsar? Uncertainty prevails

During his week-long visit to India, which starts Saturday, Trudeau will pay obeisance at Golden Temple. He is also expected to visit the Partition museum situated nearby.

punjab Updated: Feb 17, 2018 18:19 IST
Surjit Singh
Surjit Singh
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Trudeau’s reception,Amritsar,Canadian PM
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau.(AP File Photo)

With just three days to go for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to Amritsar, many questions regarding details of his trip remain unanswered. The most pertinent one is this: Who will represent the Punjab government in the Indian delegation that will receive and welcome Trudeau in Amritsar?.

During his week-long visit to India, which starts Saturday, Trudeau will pay obeisance at Golden Temple. He is also expected to visit the Partition museum situated nearby.

All eyes, however, are on role Captain Amarinder Singh will play during the visit. The Punjab CM had refused to meet Canadian defence minister Harjit Singh Sajjan during the latter’s Punjab visit in 2017, even calling him a “sympathizer of the Khalistan movement in Canada”. Sajjan is among the six ministers who will accompany Trudeau during the Amritsar visit.

While Amarinder subsequently lauded Sajjan for clarifying that he had no relation with any separatist movement, and it was reported that Amarinder will receive Trudeau, its is still not clear whether the Punjab CM will receive Trudeau.

“The delegation for reception and welcome of the Canadian Prime Minister has not been finalized yet. It is the ministry of external affairs (MEA) that is authorised to make the necessary decisions. Names of the members of the delegation are expected to be known only a day before the visit,” said Kamaldeep Singh Sangha, deputy commissioner of Amritsar.

Curiosity has peaked after Canadian media reported that Trudeau will not meet with the “Indian leader behind Sikh separatist controversy”.

Other officials from the administration also said there was no clarity about dignitaries who will represent the Punjab government. Officials of all concerned departments conducted a special meeting, chaired by the DC, at the Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport on Saturday.

A police official anonymously told HT that Trudeau will be landing at the airport at around 10.30 am, from where he will directly go to Golden Temple.

First Published: Feb 17, 2018 18:19 IST