Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday he supports “one united India” and this policy is “core to what Canada is”. Trudeau issued the statement in Mumbai, on the third day of his week-long visit to India. Many observers have speculated that he has not received due welcome on his trip to India because of his alleged support for Sikh separatist Khalistani groups in his country.
“We reject violence and hate speech, but at the same time, I want to assure that my position...Canada’s position...has not changed,” Trudeau said in the video. “We support one united India. We have been diligent in ensuring that we are taking our responsibility seriously in cracking down on extremism.”
He said Canada – he and his ministers – had been “unequivocal on our policy of one united India”.
This is Trudeau’s first official visit to India. He was received at the Delhi airport on Saturday night by Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat – in stark contrast to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s practice of personally greeting global leaders himself at the airport. When Trudeau visited the Taj Mahal with his family on Sunday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath was not present either.
However, in an interview to Scroll.in, former Indian high commissioner to Canada Vishnu Prakash denied the government had snubbed Trudeau. He said the government had followed protocol and extended all due courtesy to him. But he admitted there was concern in India over the Trudeau government’s wooing of Sikhs in Canada as this had emboldened Khalistani elements working against India.
Modi will meet Trudeau on February 23.