Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says he and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau made clear to the chief minister of Punjab today that his repeated allegations that Canadian cabinet ministers were Sikh separatists are extremely false.
Trudeau and Sajjan met with Amarinder Singh at a hotel in Amritsar this afternoon in part to try and mend fences on a fractured relationship between Canada and the Indian state where a majority of Indian Canadians are from.
Trudeau reiterated Monday during a stop in Mumbai that his government supports only a united India, a comment Singh said he was happy to hear.
Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh, who had a one to one meeting – that lasted for about 40-minutes with Mr. Trudeau, said that he raised the issue of concerns over ”Khalistan’‘ with the Canadian Premier, to which he responded positively.
“I took up the issue pertaining to Khalistan as it’s a matter of concern for us. Mr. Trudeau is aware of it and has assured that he is going to look into the matter,” said Capt. Amarinder, after the meeting.
Earlier, Trudeau had said at an event in Mumbai, “Canada’s strength is that we have recognised that diversity is strength. Wide range of opinions and views are an important part of the success of Canada. We of course reject violence and hate speech. But at the same time let me assure that my position, Canada’s position, has not changed. We support one, united India.”
Trudeau’s statement on the third day of his seven-day India visit came in the backdrop of concerns in India over his government’s support to pro-Khalistan elements among the Sikh diaspora in Canada.
He reiterated that the position of his government in this regard “has not changed”, and said that supporting a united India is core to the kind of nation Canada is.
In a video, released by the The Canadian Press, Trudeau was seen stating that his country “rejected violence and hateful speech.” He also stated that his country has been “diligent” in cracking down on extremism.