Do not support separatists, Canadian PM assures Capt
Amritsar: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today said his country did not support any separatist movement in India or elsewhere, even as Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh handed over a list of nine Canada-based operatives allegedly promoting radicalism. The two leaders held a 40-minute meeting at a hotel here after Trudeau — along with his wife and two children, all dressed in traditional attire — paid obeisance at the Golden Temple, underlining the significance of the large and influential Sikh and Punjabi community settled in Canada.
Trudeau will hold talks on Friday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi. There was speculation on whether a meeting between Capt Amarinder and Trudeau would take place, but the CM cleared the air days before the Canadian premier’s arrival here.During their meeting, Capt Amarinder sought the Canadian PM’s cooperation in cracking down on separatism and hate crime by a fringe element, constituting a miniscule percentage of Canada’s population.The Punjab CM also handed over to Trudeau a list of nine Category “A” Canada-based operatives allegedly involved in hate crimes in Punjab by financing and supplying weapons for terrorist activities, and also engaged in radicalising youth here.Citing the separatist movement in Quebec, Trudeau said he had dealt with such threats all his life and was fully aware of the dangers of violence, which he had always pushed back with all his might, said Chief Minister’s media adviser Raveen Thukral after the meeting.Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan and Punjab Local Government Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu were also present at the meeting. Capt Amarinder shook hands with Sajjan during the talks. Last year, he had refused to meet the Canadian Defence Minister when he visited Punjab, accusing him of being a “Khalistani sympathiser”.The CM raised the issue of Indo-Canadians believed to be involved in targeted killings in Punjab, urging Trudeau to take cognisance and initiate stern action.Trudeau promised to address all concerns, saying he looked forward to closer ties with India, particularly with Punjab.Capt Amarinder also called for cooperation between India and Canada on the issues of terrorism, crime and drugs, while seeking greater sharing of relevant information in the interest of national and international security.Responding to concerns raised in some quarters on reports of human rights violations, the Punjab CM said any aberrations were always dealt with strictly, with even policemen being sent to jail by courts in such cases. A press release said the two leaders agreed on the importance of strengthening cooperation between their countries across various areas of bilateral relations, with the CM expressing Punjab’s keenness to engage with Canada in several vital domains related to economic cooperation.Capt Amarinder urged Trudeau to take steps to push investment by Canadian businesses in Punjab and the two agreed to collaborate through joint projects. With a large Punjabi diaspora settled in Canada, and some even finding place in Trudeau’s Cabinet, relations between India and Canada continue to get stronger, he added.Capt Amarinder also presented his books to the PM, besides a Phulkari “dupatta” and a shawl to Trudeau’s wife. He also presented gifts for their children.