Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's visit to India

Alan Olson
February 21, 2018

An Indian government source denied there was a snub in comments reported by several media outlets.

Along with his wife Sophie Gregoire and three children, Xavier, Ella-Grace and Hadrien, Trudeau travelled to the Taj Mahal yesterday.

"Commentators also noted that there had been no tweet from Modi's official account welcoming Trudeau and that he had not accompanied the Canadian leader to his home state of Gujarat". The Canadian PM has four Sikh ministers - Harjit Sajjan, Amarjeet Sohi, Navdeep Bains and Bardish Chagger - in his cabinet.

Although at this point the reasons for the frayed red carpet greeting Justin Trudeau in India is all conjecture with no official statements from any leaders, Khalistan has been a sore thumb in the relations between India and Canada in the past.

Trudeau's musings at a forum with students at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, India, comes just eight days before his government is due to unveil its latest budget.

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Another source, quoted by NDTV, said that Modi was not present when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited Hyderabad last week. Significantly, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh had refused to meet Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan during the latter's visit to Punjab a year ago.

Some saw this welcome as a snub to the Canadian leader over his apparent support in Canada of Sikh separatists, who tried to seek a homeland of their own by breaking away from India. "The fact that a junior minister was sent to receive Mr Trudeau and his family is most definitely a snub", columnist and economist Vivek Dehejia told the BBC. Many such Sikh activists had also acquired political importance, adding to bilateral seesaw relations between India and Canada. Trudeau is believed to have set up this meet with Singh to address the perception that the Canadian government is not able to rein in active, pro-Khalistan elements back home.

Trudeau, who leaves Friday, is scheduled to meet February 23 with President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the presidential palace in Delhi.

Singh responded by saying he looked forward to having productive meetings with Trudeau on his trip. With 1.3 million Indian Canadians, the community is fast growing and influential both politically and economically in Canada; a successful trip would help Trudeau both at home and overseas.

Trudeau is expected to make a statement during this trip reiterating Canada's policy in favour of a united India, but stressing Canada will not crack down on Sikhs in Canada expressing peacefully their desire for an independent state.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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