New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that terrorism is a threat to both India and Canada and those who challenge territorial integrity won't be tolerated.
“It is important that we work together to fight terrorism. Those who challenge our sovereignty and territorial integrity cannot be tolerated… There should be no place for those who misuse religion for political goals,” PM Modi said during his joint statement with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau.
India and Canada inked six pacts, including one on energy cooperation on Friday. Earlier, the PM had tweeted, “I look forward to meeting PM @JustinTrudeau and holding talks on further strengthening India-Canada relations in all spheres. I appreciate his deep commitment to ties between our two countries.”
I look forward to meeting PM @JustinTrudeau tomorrow and holding talks on further strengthening India-Canada relations in all spheres. I appreciate his deep commitment to ties between our two countries.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 22, 2018
PM Modi not receiving Trudeau at the airport, a courtesy he extended to some world leaders in the past, had triggered speculation in Canada that it was a snub to him for the rising Sikh radicalism in that country. However, Indian government sources had strongly rejected the speculation, insisting normal diplomatic protocol has been extended to Trudeau.
I hope PM @JustinTrudeau and his family had a very enjoyable stay so far. I particularly look forward to meeting his children Xavier, Ella-Grace, and Hadrien. Here is a picture from my 2015 Canada visit, when I'd met PM Trudeau and Ella-Grace. pic.twitter.com/Ox0M8EL46x— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 22, 2018
“I hope PM @JustinTrudeau and his family had a very enjoyable stay so far. I particularly look forward to meeting his children Xavier, Ella-Grace, and Hadrien,” the PM said in another tweet. He also posted a picture from his 2015 Canada visit when he had met Trudeau and Ella-Grace.
Trudeau came under fire on Thursday after Jaspal Atwal, a convicted former member of a Sikh separatist group, was invited to dine with the the Canadian PM Canada's High Commissioner to India.
Trudeau later said that the person “should never have received the invitation”. “Obviously, we take this extremely seriously. He should never have received an invitation. As soon as we received the information we rescinded it, a member of Parliament had included this individual,” he said.
Atwal was convicted of cabinet minister Malkait Singh Sidhu's murder in 1986 on Vancouver Island. During the time of the crime, he was a member of the International Sikh Federation which has been banned in several countries, including India and Canada, as a terrorist organization. He was one of the four men who shot at Sidhu's car.
Reacting to the controversy, India said it will find out how Atwal managed to get the visa. invite to Atwal "Canadian side has already clarified that the invitation has been withdrawn. About the Visa I don't know how it happened. We will ascertain information from our Commission," said Raveesh Kumar, Spokesperson, MEA.
The trouble began when pictures of Atwal with Trudeau's wife Sophie and Liberal cabinet minister Amarjeet Sohi in Mumbai emerged a day before Trudeau was to meet PM Modi.
Atwal at Trudeau's event could have led to trouble for Canadian PM with the talk of his alleged acceptance of Sikh separatist groups in the background. The Canadian PM has tried time and again to assure India that he had no such inclination towards the groups.
On Wednesday, during a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, Trudeau had said that his country stands for a united India and does not support any separatist movement, in India or elsewhere.
Trudeau's categorical assurance came when Singh raised the Khalistan issue and sought his cooperation to crack down on elements in Canada that are working to destabilise Punjab for the creation of a separate Sikh state.