Jaspal Atwal says unfair to raise decades-old 'criminal' conviction'

Friday, 23 Feb, 2018

As Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's visit to India - and his declared intention of a high profile, and for him politically crucial, visit to the Golden Temple - loomed, Amarinder Singh let it be known that he would give Trudeau a miss as well, to drive home the message of his disapproval of Canadian support to Khalistani formations and the presence of a number of Khalistani sympathisers in Trudeau's cabinet.

Atwal said he would not attend the dinner, since he was in Mumbai for business.

Atwal later moved to Surrey, a town in British Columbia where he is associated with Media Wave Communications, which runs a Surrey-based online radio station, ABP News reported. He referred Postmedia to a representative of the radio station who did not return phone calls.

He blamed enemies for circulating the photos obtained by Postmedia and stressed that he travelled to India on his own on February 11 and is not part of any official government delegation.

Earlier in the day, news reports emerged that an alleged Khalistani terorrist Jaspal Atwal, accused of shooting at a Punjab minister in the 1980s, had been invited to two official events organized for Trudeau in Mumbai and Delhi.

Sidhu was driving on a rural road in the small community of Gold River, British Columbia, when his vehicle was ambushed by Sikh extremists. The Punjab cabinet minister was visiting B.C. for his nephew's wedding. He was assassinated in India in 1991. He and three other Sikh terrorists shot and serioulsy wounded Indian politician Malkiat Singh Sidhu in 1986.

The Prime Minister further said that he was eager to meet again with Trudeau's three children - Xavier, Ella-Grace, and Hadrien.PM Modi had first acquainted them during his visit to Canada in 2015.

The incident is the latest in a gaffe-plagued trip by Trudeau that has featured multiple photo-ops of the prime minister and his family posing in traditional Indian clothing, as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declined to meet with Trudeau.

Trudeau is facing criticism for having a soft approach towards pro-Khalistani voices even though the Canadian PM has assured India that his country does not support separatism in India or elsewhere. India, Canada, the U.S. and the United Kingdom have included the group on lists of terrorist organizations.

Putting an end to all the speculations that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was snubbed during his week-long India visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday took to his Twitter account and said that he was looking forward meeting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday. "And we are very clear about that", she said. "With that level of awareness, this happening is an indication that they weren't all that careful". "For all I know he may be a totally reformed man, but I don't think that is the issue", he said. He was severely injured in the attack but survived.

He appealed the ruling, but lost in 2012.

Freeland, who is a part of the delegation accompanying Trudeau, said Canada is "really, really proud" of its diverse society and welcomes Canadians from all communities, diverse backgrounds and different parts of the world.