Harjit Sajjan Pressed to Resign For Exaggerating Military Role

Sajjan’s comments in India were criticised as “stolen valour” and they led to a demand for his resignation.

2 min read

Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. (Photo: AP)

Canada's Defence Minister apologised in Parliament on Monday for claiming to have been the "architect" of the country's largest battle in Afghanistan.

Harjit Sajjan repeatedly said sorry for what he called a "mistake" while being grilled by opposition lawmakers about his remark last month during a speech in India. The speech was part of a conference on 18 April.

The battle involving Canada's Operation Medusa was planned and executed in 2006 by then-Maj Gen David Fraser, who was responsible for all NATO forces in southern Afghanistan.

At the time of the operation, Sajjan was a major in Afghanistan, a much lower rank.

Interim Conservative opposition leader Rona Ambrose criticised Sajjan's initial comment as "stolen valour" and asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to dismiss him.

How much more does the prime minister need to hear before he understands why our men and women in uniform have lost confidence in the minister. People in the military have a name for what he did: it’s called ‘stolen valour,’ when someone takes credit for the brave actions of another.
Rona Ambrose, Conservative Leader

Trudeau said Sajjan acknowledged the mistake and rejected demands to fire him citing his apology as a reason, reported the Canadian newspaper Global and Mail.

He acknowledged his responsibility and apologised for it. That is what Canadians expect when one makes a mistake. We own up to our mistake; we apologise for it. This minister has served his country in many capacities, as a police officer, as a soldier, and now as a minister. He has my full confidence.
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister

(With inputs from AP.)

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