India, Canada’s Atwal Fix: Nothing to Do With Invite, Says MEA

MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said any suggestion to the contrary is “baseless and unacceptable”.

2 min read
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau (L), Kahlistani Extremist Jaspal Atwal, MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar (R).

India on Wednesday, 28 February, said it had nothing to do with the presence of convicted Khalistan terrorist Jaspal Atwal at an event hosted by the Canadian High Commissioner in Mumbai or the invitation extended to him for a reception by the envoy in New Delhi, asserting that any suggestion to the contrary is "baseless and unacceptable".

"We have seen the recent exchange in the Parliament of Canada regarding two invitations issued to Jaspal Atwal by the Canadian High Commissioner, for functions hosted in honour of the Canadian Prime Minister in India.

"Let me categorically state that the Government of India, including the security agencies, had nothing to do with the presence of Jaspal Atwal at the event hosted by the Canadian High Commissioner in Mumbai or the invitation issued to him for the Canadian High Commissioner's reception in New Delhi”, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

He added, "Any suggestion to the contrary is baseless and unacceptable”.

India's firm assertion on the issue came a day after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced questions from the Opposition in the Canadian Parliament over the controversy, and reports that he was standing by a senior who suggested that factions within the Indian government were trying to sabotage his recent India visit.

According to the Canadian media, Trudeau, facing a barrage of questions from the Opposition on the security official’s ‘suggestion’ in his first House of Commons appearance after the India visit, had categorically stated:

“When one of our top diplomats and security officials says something to Canadians, it is because they know it to be true.”

Following the Question Hour, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer tweeted:

This is after the Canadian government had named a Liberal MP Randeep Sarai for inviting Atwal to the reception. Sarai had on Tuesday night, announced that he would be stepping down as BC caucus chair.

(With inputs from PTI)

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