India Slams Trudeau’s ‘Baseless’ Comment in Growing Debacle
By Josh Wingrove
India’s government is taking aim at Justin Trudeau on the heels of a trip to the country that has become a diplomatic debacle, with a spokesman for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government calling the Canadian leader’s remarks “baseless and unacceptable.”
Trudeau’s trip last week was marred by questions of whether his government was too sympathetic toward Sikh separatists who want an independent Punjab carved out of northwestern India. No issue was more embarrassing for the Canadian prime minister than his delegation meeting with Jaspal Atwal -- a man once convicted in Canada of the attempted murder of a visiting Indian cabinet minister, according to the Canadian Press and other news agencies. After it was made public, Canada rescinded Atwal’s invitation to a dinner reception in New Delhi.
A senior Canadian government official then spoke to journalists covering the trip and reportedly floated the idea Atwal’s presence may have been facilitated by rogue factions within India’s government -- an explosive allegation of, essentially, sabotage. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called the briefing an “embarrassing blunder.”
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