Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in Amritsar on Wednesday and the issue of Khalistan featured prominently in the discussions between the two leaders in the one-on-one meeting. Speaking to the media after the meeting, the Punjab CM said that he has expressed his concerns about militant activity in Punjab. as well as over Khalistan and the funding it gets from various countries, including Canada.
Captain Amarinder Singh said, “I took up with Canadian PM, the militancy concerns we have and he has assured us that they will look into this matter.” Punjab CM also said, “I raised the issue of Khalistan as its the primary issue, as there is money coming in from various countries including Canada.”
The Punjab CM later took to Twitter expressing his relief over assurances from the Canadian PM stating that his country does not support separatist movements. Amarinder Singh wrote: “Really happy to receive categorical assurance from Canadian PM @JustinTrudeau that his country does not support any separatist movement. His words are a big relief to all of us here in India and we look forward to his government’s support in tackling fringe separatist elements.”
Really happy to receive categorical assurance from Canadian PM @JustinTrudeau that his country does not support any separatist movement. His words are a big relief to all of us here in India and we look forward to his government’s support in tackling fringe separatist elements.
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) February 21, 2018
WATCH| Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh after meeting Canadian PM Justin Trudeau
#WATCH ‘I raised issue of #Khalistan as its the primary issue and there is money coming in from various countries including Canada’ says Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh after meeting Canadian PM #JustinTrudeau pic.twitter.com/lY201BzX7H
— ANI (@ANI) February 21, 2018
Punjab CM also gave birthday wishes to Hadrein Trudeau, youngest of Justin Trudeau’s children. On Twitter, Captain Amarinder Singh wrote, “Wish you a wonderful birthday Hadrein Trudeau on the 28th of this month. I’ll think of you on that day. It has been a pleasure meeting all the three children of Canadian Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau.”
Trudeau’s meeting with Amarinder Singh came as part of his daylong visit to Punjab. Earlier in the day, he visited the Golden Temple in Amritsar where he was welcomed by Shiromani Akali Dal Chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Gobind Singh Longowal.
The meeting is expected to address the key issue said to be hampering ties between the two nations. Reports have been abuzz over the cold shoulder that the leadership in India has given to the visiting dignitary right since his arrival in India. Ties have been frosty between Singh and Trudeau in particular, given the former’s persistent attacks on the Canadian PM’s cabinet over alleged links of some of its members with Khalistani separatists. The issue has caught the Centre’s attention as well and attempts by Canada to assuage these concerns have not proven fruitful so far.
Notably, Canada’s Defence minister Harjit Sajjan was also part of the delegation that met the Punjab CM today. Amarinder Singh had refused to meet the minister during his last visit to India, citing his alleged links with Khalistani separatists.