Canadian Prime Minister arrives in Amritsar

Casey Dawson
February 22, 2018

Trudeau wasn't planning to meet Amarinder Singh, given the Indian leader's comments against Trudeau's Sikh colleagues.

Singh had refused to meet with Sajjan last spring, saying he was sympathetic to the Sikh separatist cause. Trudeau had Punjabi, particularly Sikh vote bank, in his country, on his mind.

Trudeau also visited the Partition Museum here.

Anupam, who met Trudeau and his family, said it was a pleasure meeting the Canadian Prime Minister. Trudeau was accompanied by Navjot Singh Sidhu and Hardeep Singh Puri at the temple. The Canadian PM's wife and children too were wearing the traditional Indian outfit.

The Canadian prime minister, who is on a week-long India visit, also spoke about the "extraordinary diversity" of this country and said "this pluralism comes with its own challenges but are immensely beneficial". He had reportedly cited Sajjan's links with supporters of the Khalistan movement-an allegation Sajjan denies. Sikhs in Canada form a voting bloc for Trudeau, so much so that he even attended a Khalsa Day parade organized by a radical Gurudwara, or Sikh temple, in Toronto.

Manjit Singh Gill, a sculptor from Moga's Ghal Kalan village prepared a unique sculptor depicting India-Canada ties and it was put on display at the village on Wednesday. "India values its relationship with Canada highly".

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And now, three years later, things seem to have changed quite a bit, if only to woo the Indian diaspora with an eye on the federal elections coming up in Canada next year.

You can always count on us to defend Canadians' fundamental rights to freedom of speech and conscience, no matter who you are or where you are from. "I was able to make that very clear to him".

"His words are a big relief to all of us here in India and we look forward to his government's support in tackling fringe separatist elements", he said in a tweet. Through this trip, which also happens to be his first state visit to India, Trudeau hopes to build stronger ties between India and Canada, while also taking time out to enjoy with his family.

"I took up with Trudeau the concerns about militancy [in Canada] we had raised". According to reports, this was part of Canada's efforts to lure more Bollywood film productions into their country.

The announcement from Trudeau came after he held meetings with Indian corporate giants and industry leaders including Tata Group chairman N.Chandrasekaran; Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla; Mahindra group chief Anand Mahindra; Salil Parikh of Infosys, and Cyrus Mistry of the Pallonjee Mistry group, among others.

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