Trudeau 'assures' India Canada won't support Khalistan

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

That might explain why Singh - who has accused Trudeau of harbouring ministers sympathetic to the separatist cause in his cabinet - appeared keen to mend fences today.

Mr. Trudeau, as well as the NDP's Jagmeet Singh, may be looking to a sizable Sikh vote base to strengthen their electoral position - but that's doesn't mean they should fall back on free speech whenever they are questioned on the Khalistan issue, especially given Canada's own history with the Khalistan movement.

Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Punjab Local Government Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu were also present with them in the meeting.

Six days into his eight-day visit to India, Mr. Trudeau is yet to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Three days ago, Sajjan again reached out to the chief minister.

Trudeau, Sajjan at his side, promised to look into it, which is good news since Singh has previously refused to meet Sajjan.

Trudeau was also honoured inside the sanctum sanctorum of Golden Temple.

Tight security was in place in and around Amritsar for Trudeau's visit.

Indeed, from the moment the Canadians arrived in Amritsar, signs were evident that the chief minister wanted to reduce tensions.

In his "Passage to India" style tour, Trudeau had landed in Amritsar after covering Agra, Ahmedabad, and Mumbai, savouring the best of desi culture. The two are expected to discuss business as well as people-to-people ties.

The categorical assurance from Trudeau came when Captain Amarinder sought the Canadian prime minister's cooperation in cracking down on separatism and hate crime by a fringe element, constituting a miniscule percentage of Canada's population.

The term "freedom of expression" has been used by Canadian leaders in the past to resist Indian pressure to crack down on nonviolent Sikh separatists in Canada.

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The prime minister's trip has been fraught with controversy.

Trudeau was nonetheless upbeat about the possibilities, claiming, "This was really a win-win morning, a win-win day for all of us and I'm excited for the opportunities in the Canada-India friendship", Trudeau told Chanda Kochhar, CEO of the Industrial Credit and Investment Corp. of India.

The Trudeau government's written account of the meeting, known as a readout, went on to mention familiar Trudeau themes such as the empowerment of women and girls.

Amarinder also raised the issue of Indo-Canadians believed to be involved in targeted killings in Punjab.

According to Singh's account, Trudeau responded by saying he "would look into the issue".

The Chief Minister identified Higher Education, Scientific Research & Technology, Innovation & Start Ups, as well as Skill Development as some of the areas in which Canada could contribute to the development of Punjab. In his next leg, Trudeaus will be visiting Jama Masjid in Delhi.

"We will always stand against violent extremism, but we understand that diversity of views is one of the great strengths of Canada", Trudeau said.

The professor at the university's graduate school of public and global affairs says Modi's political leanings more closely resemble those of U.S. President Donald Trump - and even former prime minister Stephen Harper - than they do Trudeau's feel-good approach.

Whatever the two talked about, Singh did seem satisfied with what he heard.

The SGPC, the apex religious body of the Sikhs, has organised a special event in the honour of Trudeau.

Chandigarh:Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived at the Amritsar global airport to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple here. In the Langar, or communal kitchen, rows of men and women sat together on the floor while servers walked among them ladling soup into bowls. The family bowed before the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book that is considered as a living guru.

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