Ties between New Delhi and Ottawa have been frosty in recent times as Canada is being seen as offering a platform to separatists demanding an independent Khalistan. In the first leg of their weeklong visit, Justin Trudeau and his family visited Agra, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Amritsar. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi “snubbed” his counterpart with not a welcome statement or a tweet. He did not even accompany him to Ahmedabad, and a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh at Amritsar was organised only at the last moment. In the last leg, however, Trudeau will come face to face with Modi.
- Captain Amarinder Singh handed over a list of nine Canada-based operatives to Trudeau on Wednesday
- The operatives are alleged to have been involved in hate crimes in Punjab by financing and supplying weapons for terrorist activities
- Trudeau, in turn, assured the Punjab Chief Minister his full cooperation
- As the Khalistan issue loomed large, Trudeau and his family visited the Taj Mahal, the Golden Temple, among others
"Canada Doesn't Support Separatist Movements," Trudeau Says to Punjab CM
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday met visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Amritsar. Both leaders discussed the strong bond that exists between the two places, largely due to an influential Punjabi community settled in the western nation.
Besides the Trudeau-Amarinder meeting, which remained uncertain till Monday evening, the other highlight was the Chief Minister meeting Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan, who was born in Punjab's Hoshiarpur district and is the first Sikh to handle the defence portfolio of a western country.
Amarinder had refused to meet the Canadian Defence Minister in April 2017 during the latter’s visit to the state and even dubbed him and other ministers of Punjab-origin in the Trudeau government as “Khalistani sympathisers”.
On Wednesday, the Chief Minister not only met Sajjan, but also shook hands with him and both leaders smiled at each other.
The Amarinder Singh government went all out to accord a red carpet welcome to Trudeau and his entourage, including his wife and children, during their four hour trip to the Sikh holy city of Amritsar.
Trudeau arrived in Amritsar from Mumbai on Wednesday morning and offered prayers at the Golden Temple complex, at the holiest of Sikh shrines in the 'Harmandir Sahib'.
"Filled With Grace and Humility," Trudeau at Golden Temple
Trudeau paid obeisance at the Golden Temple, the holiest of Sikh shrine, during his hour-long stay there. The Canadian premier then also visited the Partition Museum.
Trudeau even penned a message in the visitors’ book at the Golden Temple.
Trudeau Arrives in Amritsar
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri and Punjab Cultural Affairs and Tourism Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu received Trudeau and a delegation of Canadian ministers and MPs at the Sri Guru Ramdas International Airport at around 10:40 am.
At the airport, they were also accompanied by the Amritsar Commissioner of Police SS Srivastva and the Deputy Commissioner Kamaldeep Singh Sangha, officials said.
Tight security arrangements have been made by the Punjab Police in Amritsar with over 1,500 cops being deployed in the holy city. Senior police officials, including SSPs and DIGs, besides the SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team, have also been deployed.
Amarinder to Meet Six Accompanying Canadian Ministers
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s office said that he will meet the six Canadian ministers after a one-on-one meeting with the country’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Notably, Minister of State Hardeep Puri will also be present.