Canadian PM Arrives at Jama Masjid
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family toured the Jama Masjid in New Delhi. They were accompanied by Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.
(With inputs from PTI, IANS and ANI)
Sushma Swaraj, Canadian Foreign Minister Hold Strategic Dialogue
Ahead of Friday's India-Canada bilateral summit, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland held a strategic dialogue in New Delhi on Thursday, 22 February, covering a wide range of bilateral cooperation issues.
EAM @SushmaSwaraj and Canadian Foreign Minister @cafreeland had wide ranging discussions on strengthening relations in trade and investment, security and cyber security, energy, people to people contacts and other relevant bilateral and regional issues. pic.twitter.com/FfIFx5AfB0— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) February 22, 2018
Canadian Mission Rescinds Invitation to Khalistan Separatist; Atwal Seen in Photo With Trudeau's Wife
Amid a raging controversy, the High Commission of Canada, on Thursday, 22 February, said that it has rescinded an invitation extended to Khalistan separatist Jaspal Atwal for a reception in honour of visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
"The High Commission has rescinded Mr Atwal's invitation," the high commission \said in a statement.
"We do not comment on matters relating to the PM's security," it added.
Controversy broke out over news of an invitation being extended to Khalistan separatist Atwal, who was also convicted of attempted assassination in Canada in 1987, for the reception to be held at the residence of Canadian High Commissioner Nadir Patel on Thursday.
Atwal was reportedly seen in several photographs with Trudeau’s wife, Sophie, and Canadian Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sodhi taken in Mumbai on 20 February.
'Let's Not Presume Things and Decide How Atwal Managed to Come': MEA
Addressing a press conference after the whole Jaspal Atwal 'separatist row' broke out, MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that one must "not presume things and decide how he (Atwal) managed to come".
"This is something which we are trying to find out. In due course, we will be able to come up with a reason regarding how he managed to come in India...There are two aspects to it - presence and visa. Canadian side has already clarified that the invitation has been withdrawn.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. " - Raveesh Kumar, MEA Spokesperson
'He Should've Never Received an Invitation': Trudeau on Jaspal Atwal Controversy
Responding to the controversy that erupted about the reported invitation of Jaspal Atwal, Justin Trudeau asserted that "he should never have received an 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." - Justin Trudeau
Addressing a business summit in the capital, Trudeau also underlined the ties between India and Canada, saying:
"Canada and India are countries committed to pursuing and upholding democracy. We are the two largest democracies in the world, one by size and one by population." - Justin Trudeau
Jaspal Atwal no Longer in MHA Blacklist
Convicted Khalistan separatist Jaspal Atwal no longer figures in the Home Ministry's blacklist of Sikh extremists, officials told PTI on Thursday, 22 February.
The central government from time-to-time reviews the blacklist of Sikh extremists, taking into account intelligence inputs and activities of the persons concerned, a Home Ministry official told PTI.
Names of nearly 150 wanted terrorists and their associates were removed from the blacklist in the last few years, the official added.
“Atwal’s name no longer figures in the current blacklist,” the official told PTI.
The review of the blacklist is always done in consultation with the Punjab government and central security agencies.
Most of the persons whose names have been deleted from the wanted list are believed to be currently based in countries like Pakistan, the US, Canada, Norway, France and Germany.
After the government removed them from the blacklist, they could move freely around the world and even return to India.
Perhaps taking advantage of the central government's decision to remove his name from the blacklist, Atwal arrived in India and subsequently got an invitation to attend the dinner being hosted in honour of Trudeau by High Commissioner of Canada Nadir Patel, the official said.
Atwal was a Sikh separatist active in the banned International Sikh Youth Federation when he was convicted of attempt to murder of Punjab minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu in Vancouver in 1986. Sidhu was shot at twice on a road and survived, but was later assassinated in India.
A judge called it "an act of terrorism" and sentenced Atwal and three others to 20 years in prison.
Canada Supports a Strong and United India: Canadian Foreign Minister
In the aftermath of the controversy surrounding Jaspal Atwal, Canadian Foreign Minister reiterated Canada's support for a strong and united India.
"We are familiar with separatist challenges at home. Canada supports a strong and united India. Terrorism, in all forms, is a threat. All democracies should be united in its condemnation. " - Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland
Earlier in the day, Freeland held a strategic dialogue with her Indian counterpart, Sushma Swaraj, in New Delhi.
'Look Forward to Meeting Trudeau & His Children': PM Modi Breaks His Silence on Canadian PM's Visit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally broke his silence on Justin Trudeau's visit to India, as he posted on Twitter saying that he looks forward to meeting the Canadian PM. Modi added that he is particularly looking forward to meeting Trudeau's children – Xavier, Ella-Grace, and Hadrien.
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
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
Trudeau is scheduled to meet PM Modi on Friday, 23 February.
Modi Meets Trudeau
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and family in New Delhi on Friday, 23 February.
Later, he and his his family paid a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial at Rajghat.
Trudeau Meets Swaraj
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
Picture speaks for itself! EAM @SushmaSwaraj had a warm meeting with the Prime Minister of Canada @JustinTrudeau and discussed ways to strengthen and deepen our partnership. pic.twitter.com/4nB1QmwgQT— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) February 23, 2018
PM Modi, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau Issue Joint Statement
India and Canada ink six pacts, including one on energy cooperation, during Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s visit to India.
"As Canada looks to diversify its own economy and looks for new opportunities to do business beyond its boundaries, India is a natural partner and a trusted friend for commercial cooperation. Canada looks for new opportunities to do business beyond its borders in areas such as civil nuclear sciences, smart cities, IT. That said that a new economic must…benefit everyone not just the wealthiest few."
Trudeau also said that India and Canada not only share a rich history but also “a set of values that encourage a natural friendship between our two countries”.
PM Modi also reiterated Trudeau’s sentiments in his address and said that it is important the countries to come together to fight terrorism and extremism.
“There should be no space for those who misuse religion for political motives and promote separatism. We will not tolerate those who challenge unity and integrity of our countries,” Modi said.
Modi, Trudeau Hold Delegation Level Talks
Canadian Prime Minister Justin held delegation level talks with the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
Both countries are expected to sign a number of agreements in the talks being held at the Hyderabad house in the national capital.
Modi and Trudeau discussed strengthening cooperation in trade and investment, energy, education, healthcare, IT, start up, science and technology, defence and security, tourism and people-to-people contacts during the talks.
India, Canada Sign Multiple Agreements
Upon concluding the bilateral meeting, PM Modi and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau exchanged multiple agreements at an exchange of agreements ceremony at the Hyderabad house.
Agreements signed between the two countries are in the areas of energy, education, ICT, sports and others.
Following are the agreements signed:
- Joint Declaration of Intent Between the Ministry of Electronics And Information Technology of the Republic of India and The Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development of Canada on Cooperation in the Field of Information Communications Technology and Electronics.
- Terms of Reference for the India-Canada Ministerial Energy Dialogue Between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas of the Republic of India and The Department of Natural Resources of Canada.
- Memorandum of Understanding Between the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports of the Republic of India and The Department of Canadian Heritage (Sport Canada) on Cooperation in Sport
- Memorundum of Understanding Between the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of Republic of India and The Canadian Intellectual Property Office Concerning Cooperation on Intellectual Property Rights.
- Memorundum of Understanding Between the Government of the Republic of India and The Government of Canada Concerning Cooperation in Higher Education.
- Memorandum of Understanding Between the Department of Atomic Energy of The Republic of India and The Department of Natural Resources of Canada Concerning Co-Operation in the Fields of Science, Technology and Innovation.
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau Holds Roundtable With Chief Executives
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a round table with top business leaders of India and Canada.
The meeting with the chief executives from both countries was based on business, catalysing bilateral trade and investment.
Trudeau Meets President Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan
The Canadian Prime Minister, on his week-long visit to India, met with the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Friday, after his meeting with top business leaders of India and Canada.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi Meets Canadian PM Justin Trudeau in Delhi
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met Congress president Rahul Gandhi while in Delhi.
Trudeau had earlier met with his Indian counterpart as well as the President of India. India and Canada signed several agreements in the fields of energy, sports, IT and others.
Canada's Spy Agency was Warned About Atwal Being Seen with PM Trudeau
Canada's spy agency had been warned about the repercussions of convicted Khalistani terrorist Jaspal Atwal attending events with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on his tour to India, Canadian media reported on Friday.
Trudeau’s first bilateral visit to India was hit by a controversy over the dinner invitation to Atwal by the Canadian High Commissioner in New Delhi.
Atwal had been convicted of shooting at visiting Punjab cabinet minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu on Vancouver Island in 1986.
High Commissioner Nadir Patel cancelled Atwal's invite for the dinner, hosted last night for Trudeau, while the ministry of external affairs (MEA) said it will "ascertain" how Atwal entered India.
The informant, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation, confirmed speaking to an agent from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) on 17 February, hoping to alert the Canadian government to Atwal's criminal history.
The person said to the CSIS agent that “this is an embarrassment for the prime minister and CSIS should send a note to the prime minister’s office. And they sent a note”.
CSIS did not respond to requests for comment, Postmedia reported.
A separate source told Postmedia that some members of the Punjabi-language media in Surrey sent news reports about Atwal's history to the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi on 20 February.
The source said it was widely known that Atwal, a former member of the terrorist International Sikh Youth Federation, was going to India to attend some of the events with Prime Minister Trudeau and the Canadian delegation.
Despite the warnings, Atwal attended a reception on 21 February in Mumbai where he was photographed with Trudeau's wife Sophie Gregoire and Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi.
The outcome has embarrassed Trudeau, who had made efforts in India to insist Canada is not soft on Sikh separatism and believes in a united India, the Vancouver Sun said.
Atwal was also once accused of assaulting Indian-origin former British Columbia premier Ujjal Dosanjh.
Dosanjh said the Canadian government demonstrated a lack of concern by inviting the man – convicted of attempted murder in another case.
Dosanjh, also a one-time federal Liberal cabinet minister, says he was taken aback when he found out that Atwal was invited to a dinner reception with the prime minister after attending another event with the Trudeau family earlier this week, the Globe and Mail reported.
He said Atwal attacked him with an iron bar in 1985 over his opposition to Sikh extremism. The assault left Dosanjh with 80 stitches and a broken hand, but Atwal was acquitted of the crime.
"It left me speechless about the lack of preparation or the depth of unpreparedness with which Mr Trudeau's trip went through," he said.
Justin Trudeau Addresses Media in Delhi
The Canadian Prime Minister addressed the media at the Taj Diplomatic Enclave, New Delhi on his week-long visit to the nation.
Trudeau was faced with questions about his dressing while in India, Jaspal Atwal, his interaction with PM Modi and much more.
Those Challenging India's Unity Cannot be Tolerated: Modi After Meeting Trudeau
In a subtle message to the Trudeau government over its perceived soft-stand on the Khalistan issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that those challenging India's sovereignty cannot be tolerated, even as India and Canada vowed to jointly combat terror threats, including from Sikh groups such as Babbar Khalsa.
After holding extensive talks with his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau, Modi, at a joint press event, also asserted that there cannot be any space for those who misuse religion for political motives and promote separatism.
A document on 'framework for cooperation on countering terrorism and violent extremism', finalised by India's National Security Advisor and the National Security and Intelligence Advisor of Canada, was also released after the Modi-Trudeau meet.
"They committed to work together to neutralise the threats emanating from terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, ISIS, the Haqqani Network, LeT, JeM, Babbar Khalsa International, and the International Sikh Youth Federation." - Document
While Babbar Khalsa International is a Sikh militant group based in Pakistan and which reportedly operates in Canada, Germany, the UK and some parts of India, the International Sikh Youth Federation is a proscribed outfit that aims to establish an independent homeland for the Sikhs of India.
Mincing no words, Modi also said, "There should be no space for those misusing faith for political goals and sowing seeds of division. Those who challenge sovereignty, unity and integrity of our countries cannot be tolerated." Later, a joint statement said the two leaders reaffirmed the "breadth and scope" of Canada-India relations, based on the fundamental principle of respect for sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the two countries.
The statement as well as Modi’s remarks come in the backdrop of Canada’s perceived pro-Khalistan approach, criticised by many including Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
Canadian PM Gifted Footprint Painting of Rescued Pachyderm
Canadian PM Trudeau was presented with a footprint painting of a rescued pachyderm after his visit to an elephant conservation and care centre in Mathura, a city-based wildlife body which runs the centre said on 24 February.
Trudeau had visited the centre in Mathura run by Wildlife SOS, along with his wife and their three children earlier this week during his India tour.
At the centre, Trudeau and his family observed veterinarians providing treatment to the rescued elephants and also learnt about the status of Asian elephants in India, Wildlife SOS said.
Here is a List of 9 Canadian Operatives that Figured in Amarinder-Trudeau Talks
The list of nine alleged Canada-based Khalistani operatives submitted by Punjab CM Amarinder Singh to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday in Amritsar includes six alleged members of International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF), and three linked to Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), Indian Express reported.
Gurjeet Singh Cheema, Gurpreet Singh, Gurjinder Singh Pannu, KCF activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar and Malkeet Singh are the alleged ISYF activists included in the list, the report added. Sources in the Punjab government told Indian Express that while the other four have not been booked by the police, reports of their involvement have been informed through intelligence inputs.
Tolerance Not Enough, Need Love to Live in Pluralistic World: Trudeau
Capping off the trip, Trudeau told a gathering of nearly 5,000 Indian students and young professionals that people in the world needed to recognise everyone's rights and not discriminate against them for who they were and what their backgrounds were.
The schoolteacher-turned-politician said at United Nations Young Changemakers Conclave at the packed Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi:
"“Diversity, pluralism, bringing people together with different backgrounds, different stories... that matters. Understanding that everyone has a right to a complete life lived in respect and love and acceptance is essential,”"
On Saturday, 24 February the last day of a controversy-mired week-long state visit to the country, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Saturday that only tolerance is not enough in a pluralistic country like India and said that a society needs love to exist in harmony.
Trudeau met PM Modi on Friday, 23 February after controversial reports of convicted Khalistani separatist Jaspal Atwal being invited by the Canadian government to dine with the PM surfaced on the media. The two leaders inked six pacts, including one on energy co-operation.
- Addressing the United Nations Young Changemakers Conclave 2018, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said ‘Diversity is a key to resilience and success’
- India and Canada sign multiple agreements in the areas of energy, education, ICT, sports and others.
- PM Modi met his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau on 23 February
- After a controversy over Jaspal Atwal being invited to dinner with Trudeau, the Canadian High Commission has said it has rescinded the invitation of the Khalistani separatist
- Responding to the Jaspal Atwal controversy, Trudeau asserted on 22 February, “He should never have received an invitation”
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