Canada High Commission cancels dinner invite to Khalistan terrorist

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on February 22, 2018 Published on February 22, 2018

Canada High Commission was hosting the dinner for the visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his delegation.   -  Reuters

Jaspal Atwal was convicted for trying to kill Akali Dal leader Malkiat Singh Sidhu

As sparks begin to flow between New Delhi and Ottawa over convicted Khalistani separatist Jaspal Atwal, the office of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attempted to distance itself away from the ensuing diplomatic row. 

“It”s important to be clear that this individual is not part of the official delegation to the PM’s visit to India, nor was he invited by the Prime Minister’s Office. As is the case with international trips, individuals sometimes travel on their own to the location of the visit,’’ said a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office. 

The row started when it came to light that Jaspal, who was one of the three who were convicted in 1987 for attempting to murder Akali Dal leader Malkiat Singh Sidhu, has been invited by the Canadian High Commissioner to India, Nadir Patel, for a dinner that was thrown in Trudeau’s honour by the Canadian High Commission here. 

However, the Canadian PMO later clarified that Atwal should "never" have been invited to any event on the programme and that his invitation has been rescinded. 

"We are in the process of looking into how this occurred," it said. 

Meanwhile the Ministry of External Affairs refused to comment on the issue. 

Indian government has been giving a lukewarm response to the entire visit ever since Trudeau landed here on February 17 along with his whole family and a bevy of Cabinet ministers and businessmen. This is believed to be because the Indian government is miffed with the pro-Khalistani stance that the Trudeau administration has, sources told BusinessLine

During the trip, Trudeau, who is on a week-long visit here, went to Agra, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Amritsar and New Delhi. He will be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday for a bilateral meeting. Trudeau leaves for Canada on Saturday, February 24.

Published on February 22, 2018
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