Justin Trudeau calls Sabarmati Ashram 'beautiful place of peace, humility and truth'

Pauline Gross
February 23, 2018

On the third day of his week-long trip to India, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived Prime Minister Narendra.

Government security agencies and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) officials were on Tuesday working to ensure the visit to the Sikh shrine goes without hindrance or controversy since radical Sikhs may seek to rake up the issue of a separate Sikh homeland "Khalistan".

The visit holds political and social significance in Canada as that country has a substantial Indian diaspora, a majority of them from Punjab.

India is also Canada's 10th-largest source of tourists and global visitors, with 224,000 visits made from India to Canada in 2016.

He will be received at the Golden Temple entrance by SGPC President Gobind Singh Longowal. "We support one united India", Trudeau said.

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What also raised hackles in New Delhi are reports about some sympathisers of Khalistani secessionists in the Sikh community of Canada making their way into higher echelons in the government in the North American nations, including Trudeau cabinet.

During the visit to Mumbai, the Prime Minister met with the senior corporate leadership of the following companies: Tata Sons, Infosys, Mahindra Group of Companies, Jubilant Bhartia Group, Aditya Birla Group, and Shapoorji Pallonji Group. Singh had refused to meet Canada's Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan a year ago and called him a Khalistan sympathizer, and stating that his government would not meet anyone who supports the Khalistan cause.

He said the indifferent attitude suggest that the GoI is readying to "corner Trudeau during his meet with Modi by discussing Canadian Sikhs activism who raise voice against human rights violations and state repression in Punjab".

In a change of tone now, Amarinder Singh expressed the hope that his meeting with Trudeau would help strengthen the bilateral relations in context of the diaspora.

Other reports by GizPress

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