'Strengthening the deep connection': PM Trudeau lands in India for weeklong visit

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with his family at Gandhi Ashram in Sabarmati

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with his family at Gandhi Ashram in Sabarmati

February 17: Canadian PM Trudeau landed at the Delhi airport and was accompanied by his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and children Hadrien, Ella-Grace Margaret and Xavier James Trudeau.

The first engagement of the Trudeau family was a visit to the Sabarmati Ashram. This has apparently not gone down well with the Canadian public and public figures, who have questioned why New Delhi has snubbed their Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Modi has started a trend of personally receiving visiting government heads and welcoming them with his trademark hug.

Trudeau is scheduled to visit Modi's home state of Gujarat on Monday before jetting off to India's financial capital of Mumbai for talks with CEOs and business leaders the next day.

Allison said Trudeau needs to explain what he plans to do to fight these duties when he isn't bringing his agriculture minister to the table, given that India is an important export market for Canadian pulse producers. Trudeau claimed their policies are empowering the middle class.

Benjamin Netanyahu his wife Sara and PM Narendra Modi at Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat last month
Benjamin Netanyahu his wife Sara and PM Narendra Modi at Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat last month

Despite Trudeau's claim, the two countries stand at opposite grounds on the issue of immigration. And if so, why?

Columnist and economist Vivek Dehejia, while speaking to BBC, said: "Yes, this is a major snub".

However, in a tweet, Capt Singh confirmed that he would be meeting with PM Trudeau on Wednesday.

Behind these royal snubs by India may be the perception in India that Justin Trudeau is sympathetic towards Khalistani separatism and his previous plan not to meet Capt Amarinder Singh.

Canadian authorities have also linked Sikh separatist militants to Canada's 1985 Air India bombing, which killed 329 people.

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Liberal Party government which is headed by Trudeau has proved more often that it has a soft-corner for extremists.

In April a year ago, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh refused to meet with Canada's Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, alleging that Sajjan was a "Khalistani sympathiser".

And Sajjan seems to have responded, with The Star newspaper reporting that at his insistence, Canada's high commissioner was dispatched to organise a meeting with between Sajjan, Trudeau and Singh.

Trudeau has four Sikh cabinet ministers - Harjit Sajjan, Amarjeet Sohi, Navdeep Bains and Bardish Chagger.

He added that India-Canada ties had improved "dramatically" in recent years, with the signing of a nuclear deal which showed they had "common interests" now.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's first visit was as a boy, with his father Pierre Trudeau. Canadian officials are giving no explanation for the decision not to meet him.

Not the kind of reception befitting a rockstar, said Indian media. Its federal director, Aaron Wudrick, said in an email, "While it is understood that a Prime Minister will have to travel frequently, the proportion of time being spent actually meeting foreign counterparts on this trip does not suggest a good use of public money".

At the management institute, the Prime Minister underlined the potential of bilateral trade between India and Canada to grow from $8 billion in goods and $2 billion in services now. He got a cold shoulder instead of a warm welcome as he began his week-long trip to India on Saturday.

"This is normal protocol". Indian officials want Trudeau to clamp down on movements within Canada pushing for an independent Sikh state.

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