Report: Trudeau’s plane denied landing in Amritsar until meeting with Amarinder in 2018


In February 2018, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Defense Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan were embroiled in a diplomatic spat during a visit to Amritsar, Punjab. Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail reported that Prime Minister Trudeau and Prime Minister Sajjan were initially denied permission to land in Amritsar unless they agreed to meet with then-Punjab provincial premier Captain Amarinder Singh.

The meeting with Captain Amarinder Singh was reportedly tense and the former CM handed over a document with the names of about 10 Sikh activists, including Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who advocated the creation of Khalistan. It was submitted to Prime Minister Trudeau and Mr. Sajjan. The move was part of India’s longstanding efforts to urge Canada to take legal action against Sikh separatists living in India.

Tensions between Canada and India had escalated following the June 2023 killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a pro-Khalistan separatist leader of the banned Khalistan Tigers. Prime Minister Trudeau hinted that India was involved in Nijjar’s death, further straining diplomatic relations between the two countries. Countries.

The meeting between Prime Minister Trudeau, Mr. Sajjan and Captain Amarinder Singh highlighted the complexities of Canada-India relations, particularly regarding issues related to Sikh separatism. Canadian authorities assured India that they would review the documents, but reiterated that Canadian law does not allow arrests based solely on views that the Indian government dislikes.

The document comes from a time when Canadian intelligence agency CSIS was working with India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) to investigate Sikh separatist activities in Canada, including fundraising activities and potential links to terrorism. shared by.

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Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit to Punjab was marred by controversy even before his meeting with Captain Amarinder Singh. Reports have surfaced that Jaspal Atwal, who was convicted of an assassination attempt, was invited to two receptions with the prime minister and was even photographed with Trudeau’s ex-wife Sophie GrĂ©goire Trudeau. Given Atwal’s criminal history and his involvement in an assassination attempt on an Indian minister in the 1980s, Atwal’s presence further fueled tensions between Canada and India.

Overall, Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit to Amritsar in 2018 highlighted the delicate balance of diplomatic relations between Canada and India, particularly regarding issues related to Sikh separatism. The meeting with Captain Amarinder Singh, along with the controversy over Atwal’s presence, highlighted the challenges in navigating the complex geopolitical dynamics in the region. As the two countries continue to grapple with these issues, this incident serves as a reminder of the complexities involved in managing the bilateral relationship between Canada and India.



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