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Trudeau and family visit Gandhi ashram in Gujarat

21 February 2018

Amid reports of Canadian PM being snubbed by the Indian authorities, the government officials have said that it is not possible for the Indian PM to accompany every leader during their visit to the country.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's ongoing India visit is being seen as getting largely snubbed by New Delhi, according to media reports.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (3rd R) and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau (L) with their daughter Ella-Grace (2nd L) and their sons Xavier (R) and Hadrien (2nd R) pose for a photo during their visit to Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad. Trudeau claimed their policies are empowering the middle class.

"India and Canada share a strategic partnership underpinned by the values of democracy, pluralism, equality for all and the rule of law", the External Affairs Ministry here said ahead of Trudeau's visit.

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Justin Trudeau and his family were in Ahmedabad on Monday as a part of their seven day official visit to India. "He will honour Trudeau as party president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)", said SAD spokesman and former minister Daljit Singh Cheema. But the truth is this is a problem that has acquired serious dimensions in recent years and affected relatively trouble-free bilateral relations.

Punjab's top elected official refused to meet Canadian defence minister Harjit Sajjan in April a year ago, alleging that he was "a Khalistani sympathiser".

Trudeau's cabinet members have also been accused of being pro-Khalistan, a separatist movement that seeks a separate country for Sikhs.

During his visit, Trudeau is unlikely to meet Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. While official sources say that India had suggested completing official engagements in Delhi before travelling to other cities, it was the decision of Trudeau and his officials to complete the other visits first. Meanwhile, the opposition SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal is expected to welcome the Canadian prime minister at the Golden Temple.

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Canada is also home to around 1.4 million people of Indian origin.

The meeting comes amid simmering tensions between India and Canada about the demands in some Sikh communities for an independent state called Khalistan. Two of four Sikh ministers in Trudeau’s cabinet Harjit Sajjan and Amarjit Sohi have both supported radical Khalistani elements in Canada.

As an editorial in a Canadian daily pointed out, the 1985 bombing of Air India flight 182, the deadliest act of terrorism involving an airliner before the 9/11 attacks, was planned and carried out on Canadian soil and resulted in the death of 329 people, including 268 Canadian citizens.

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Trudeau and family visit Gandhi ashram in Gujarat