Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s trip to India this week has been filled with self imposed hurdles, most recently with the revelation that he was invited to dine with Jaspal Atwal. In 1987 Jaspal Atwal was one of four who attempted to murder Malkiat Singh Sidhu, who was visiting Canada for the wedding of a relative.
He was badly wounded in the attack but survived. All four of Malkiat Singh Sidhu’s attackers were caught and found guilty of attempted murder, with Jaspal Atwal being given a 20 year sentence. At his sentencing, the judge presiding over the case said the crime was an act of terrorism, being used to advance the guilty’s cause. At the time of the attack Jaspar Atwal was a member of a terrorist group, the International Sikh Youth Federation, which is banned in Canada, the United States, India and the United Kingdom. To make matters worse, a photo of Justin Trudeau’s wife with Saspal Atwal at an event on Tuesday has now been made public, with no answers from the prime minister’s officials as to why they were at an event together.
All of this has certainly not helped the prime minister’s turbulent trip to India this week, which has received a lot of very negative press, from everything to his flashy choice in clothing to the fact that the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has refused to meet with him, but instead made time to meet with Donald Trump Jr, who is also in the country to do business this week, and has received a much warmer welcome than the prime minister of Canada.
People in both Canada and India are perceiving Justin Trudeau’s lack of success in the country during his trip to the fact that he seems to endorse the Sikh separatists. This issue goes back to about 1985 when a Sikh separatist bombed an Air India plane that had left from an airport in Toronto. All of the 329 passengers on the plane died. The person who was found guilty of the bombing was released last year, which is the same year that Justin Trudeau was seen at a Sikh event being held in Toronto. At that same event there were posters showing the Sikh leader who was killed during by the Indian Army, as well as separatist flags. While Trudeau never gave a clear reason as to why he was at that event, he has tried to use his love of diversity and his view that terrorists can be reintegrated into society as excuses as to why he seems to support the Sikhs.
A Brief Meeting
On Friday morning, shortly before leaving India, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally met with Trudeau at a press conference. The meeting was brief, and it appeared to only be held for political peace purposes, which still allowed Modi to make his point very clear, that Trudeau’s hypocrisy was not really welcome in his country.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.