Justin Trudeau in India LIVE updates: Canadian PM to visit Golden Temple in Amritsar today

Justin Trudeau in India LIVE updates: Canadian PM to visit Golden Temple in Amritsar today

On Wednesday, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau will pay obeisance at the Golden Temple, the holiest of Sikh shrines and is also expected to visit the partition museum, officials said.

Amritsar Deputy Commissioner and a senior district police officer will receive Trudeau at the airport on Wednesday.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has planned special event in the honour of Trudeau when he visits the Golden Temple.

SGPC, an apex religious body of the Sikhs, will honour Trudeau by presenting him a Siropa (robe of honour), replica of the Golden Temple and a sword, an SGPC official said.

File image of Justin Trudeau. Reuters

File image of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau. Reuters

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh had said he would discuss business as well as people-to-people ties with Trudeau in Amritsar on Wednesday.

“Look forward to meeting Canadian Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau in Amritsar on Wednesday. Im hopeful that this meeting will help strengthen the close Indo-Canadian business ties as well as the deep-rooted people-to-people relations between our two countries,” the chief minister tweeted.

The development came following uncertainty over whether the Canadian premier would hold a meeting with Amarinder Singh during his short visit to Amritsar.

Officials said that the chief minister would hold a meeting with the Canadian prime minister at a hotel in Amritsar after Trudeau pays obeisance at the Golden Temple.

Significantly, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh had refused to meet Canadian defence minister Harjit Sajjan during the latter’s visit to Punjab last year. Amarinder Singh had even accused Sajjan of being a “Khalistani sympathiser”.

In 2016, when Amarinder Singh was the Punjab Congress chief, he had written a strongly-worded letter to the Canadian prime minister, lodging a protest on being denied permission for interaction with Punjabi NRIs in Canada in the run-up to the Punjab Assembly polls.

Amarinder Singh had called it a “gag order”.

However, Amarinder Singh has now directed the state administration to roll out the red carpet for Trudeau.

While trade and business will be the key focus areas at the meeting, the two leaders are also expected to discuss steps to intensify the close relations between the people of the two countries, according to a spokesperson of the chief ministers office (CMO).

“Punjab has deep roots with Canada, where a large Punjabi community is settled, and has always striven to strengthen the connect,” said Amarinder Singh.

He also referred to Trudeau’s apology, two years ago, in the Canadian parliament over the 1914 Komagata Maru incident, in which hundreds of Sikh, Muslim and Hindu passengers in a ship were denied entry in to Canada and forced to return to India, where they met a violent fate.

At an AICC briefing in New Delhi, Congress leader Manish Tewari, however, had pointed out that there were sensitive issues involved.

“There are sensitivities involved in Punjab. Some of those responsible for terror in Punjab are still finding solace in the country, which Trudeau heads,” he had told reporters.

The Canadian premier is on a week-long visit to India accompanied by wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and three children: Ella-Grace, Xavier and Hadrien.

With inputs from agencies

Published Date: Feb 21, 2018 10:56 AM
| Updated Date: Feb 21, 2018 10:56 AM

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