Trudeau’s turbulent India trip refuses to end

by The Technical Blogs

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s turbulent Delhi trip just refuses to end. After his subdued presence at the G20 Summit, Trudeau is overstaying his tepid welcome, all thanks to a snag in his plane.

Trudeau wasn’t even present at the official G20 gala dinner, according to the Canadian media.

“Putting partisanship aside, no one likes to see a Canadian prime minister repeatedly humiliated and trampled upon by the rest of the world,” Pierre Poilievre, MP and leader of the Opposition of Canada, tweeted after the G20 Summit.

TRUDEAU STRANDED IN INDIA

After his struggles during the G20 Summit, Trudeau was supposed to leave India on Sunday night but remains stranded in Delhi.

Now it appears that he will have to spend not one but two nights before he is taken home by another plane.

The Canadian Armed Forces has sent a plane to pick up Trudeau, who is stranded in India after the plane he took to Delhi was grounded due to technical issues, the Toronto Sun reported on Monday.

Canada’s Department of National Defence said the maintenance problem involves a component that would have to be replaced, according to CTV News. “Currently CFC002 [an air force plane] is on route. We are working towards a departure tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, but recognize the situation is fluid,” the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Mohammad Hussain said in a statement.

When Trudeau leaves on Tuesday morning, it will cap a diplomatically-sordid visit that the Canadian Prime Minister would like to forget.

FROM G20 TO GAFFE-20

Trudeau skipped the dinner for the G20 leaders on Saturday, with the Canadian Prime Minister’s Office refusing to say why, according to Canada’s CTV News.

Then there was this moment of awkwardness at the event when G20 leaders paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat on Sunday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tried to grasp Trudeau’s hand but Trudeau pulled away, says CTV News.

Trudeau, who shook PM Modi’s hand, was the only leader to pull away from the longer handhold, it reported. Asked about it, the Canadian PM suggested people could read into it what they wished to.

Pm modi justin trudeau rajghat

Then came the pull-aside talks between PM Modi and Trudeau. The Indian statement after that was curt and cold. It highlighted how Canada wasn’t acting against the Khalistani elements active in the country.

“He [PM Modi] conveyed our strong concerns about continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada. They are promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats, damaging diplomatic premises, and threatening the Indian community in Canada and their places of worship,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

India has regularly been flagging Canada’s refusal to act against the Khalistani elements and linked it to the Trudeau government’s “vote bank politics”.

“India fails to understand why Canada gives space to separatists and extremists, other than vote bank politics,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had said in June. His remarks came after reports of PM Indira Gandhi’s assassination being celebrated by outfits in Canada.

In July too, Jaishankar warned Canada that ties would be hit after Khalistani threat posters emerged, featuring names of Indian diplomats.

But on Sunday, Trudeau was again non-committal about acting against the Khalistani elements. “Canada would always defend freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, and freedom of peaceful protest,” he said.

Trudeau’s stance was in stark contrast to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s vow to not tolerate such violence in the UK.
“Let me just say unequivocally that no form of extremism or violence like that is acceptable in the UK,” he said, adding that the UK was working with the Indian government to tackle pro-Khalistani extremism.

Sunak made these remarks briefly after landing in New Delhi on Friday. He was accompanied by his wife, Akshata Murty.

Trudeau’s visit to India for the Summit is also his first official solo trip since he announced his separation from Sophie Gregoire Trudeau after 18 years of marriage, reported Politico.

TRUDEAU’S CONTROVERSIAL 2018 INDIA TRIP

Trudeau’s trip for the G20 Summit is drawing parallels to his widely-criticised 2018 India visit.

In 2018, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s official visit to India drew severe criticism on three counts.

The reason was a series of missteps which started with Trudeau’s choice of attire. His repeated donning of traditional Indian outfits was considered over-the-top and inappropriate by many.

The second major issue was the invitation of Jaspal Atwal, a convicted former Khalistani terrorist, to a reception hosted by the Canadian High Commission. This caused a diplomatic embarrassment for Trudeau, straining Indo-Canadian relations.

Lastly, Trudeau’s itinerary was criticised for being more of a family vacation than an official visit. He spent more time sightseeing than in official meetings, which led to questions about the seriousness of his intent.

Like the visit in 2018, this visit too was seen as a missed opportunity to strengthen ties between India and Canada, and instead ended up causing a controversy.

Published On:

Sep 11, 2023

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