Canada supports 'one united India': PM Justin Trudeau
NEW DELHI: Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pointedly said that his country and he himself "support one united India" - a comment that is possibly a response to criticism that he's soft on Sikh separatists in his country.
"My position and Canada's position has not changed. We support one united India," Trudeau said.
His comment is extremely significant in the backdrop of reports that he received a lukewarm reception from the Indian dispensation as certain ministers in his Cabinet allegedly have links to the Khalistani movement. In fact, sections of the Canadian populace have lamented the possible deterioration of ties between their country and India, with one columnist even demanding Trudeau publicly denounce Khalistani extremists.
In the video released by news agency 'The Canadian Press', Trudeau further says that "we will continue to advocate for one united India and that is something core to what Canada is." "Canada has been unequivocal - myself, all my ministers, my government - on a policy of one united India. We have been very strong on that and will continue to be," the Canadian PM added, in a possible endorsement of the Indian stand on the issue of the Sikh separatist movement.
He reiterated that his government has been "diligent" in cracking down on extremism, and "standing up for the kind of peaceful dialogue that is essential in Canada."
Yesterday, in a possible thawing of relations, Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh confirmed that he will meet the Canadian PM on February 21, when the latter visits Amritsar.
This is noteworthy as Singh has shared a fraught relationship with some members of the Canadian cabinet, even refusing to meet the country's defence minister Harjit Sajjan, calling him "Khalistani sympathiser".
In fact, even earlier this month, the CM had said that while he had no problem meeting Trudeau, there were some ministers in his cabinet he would not meet because they "have negative views regarding Punjab". Trudeau, who arrived in India on Saturday, is on a week-long state visit to the country.