Canadian parliamentary security committee delivers report on Trudeau’s India trip
An unclassified version of the report is expected to be tabled in Parliament later, though that is likely to include redactions from the original due to sensitive security and intelligence information that may figure in it.Updated: Jun 01, 2018 23:54 IST
A committee of Canadian parliamentarians has delivered a classified report to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “addressing security concerns arising from his official visit to India in February”.
The special report consists of 18 findings and six recommendations that relate to “allegations of foreign interference in Canadian political affairs, risks to the security of the Prime Minister, and inappropriate use of intelligence”.
The review included an “examination of the decisions and actions of security and intelligence organisations and officials related to the visit”. The process began in April and the committee heard multiple witnesses before submitting its report.
An unclassified version of the report is expected to be tabled in Parliament later, though that is likely to include redactions from the original due to sensitive security and intelligence information that may figure in it.
In a release from its secretariat, committee chair David McGuinty said, “"All committee members were in agreement that the key issues fell within our mandate, merited independent and non-partisan review, and could only be properly examined with access to classified information."
This review results from the controversy over the presence of Jaspal Atwal, once convicted of attempting to assassinate a visiting minister from Punjab, at an official reception for Trudeau in Mumbai, where he was photographed with Trudeau’s wife Sophie Gregoire and cabinet ministers Harjit Sajjan, Navdeep Bains and Amarjeet Sohi.
As the matter came to light, criticism led to the rescinding of an invitation extended to Atwal to attend another event for Trudeau hosted by Canada’s envoy. Subsequently, even as a Liberal Party MP from British Columbia apologised for facilitating the invitation to Atwal, a senior government official, later revealed to be then National Security Advisor Daniel Jean, muddied the situation by alleging that “rogue elements” in the Indian establishment may have planted Atwal during Trudeau’s trip to embarrass the PM.
The man at the centre of the controversy had volunteered to testify before the committee. However, when asked by Hindustan Times whether he had been approached at any point to do so, Atwal replied:”Never.”
The Atwal affair has already caused a rift in relations between India and Canada, one that hasn’t healed even after Jean walked back the “rogue elements” allegation that was vehemently denied by the external affairs ministry and had left New Delhi fuming.