Trudeau’s Delayed Departure
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to India took an unexpected turn when his Airbus plane experienced technical issues, resulting in an extended stay in New Delhi. Mohammed Hussain, press secretary at the Canadian Prime Minister’s office, mentioned that the Canadian Armed Forces were working tirelessly to arrange the delegation’s return. The latest update indicated a potential departure on Tuesday afternoon, but the situation remained fluid.
Trudeau’s plane was originally scheduled to land in India on Tuesday, but a report from CBC News revealed that his replacement aircraft was diverted to London, further delaying his return. The exact reason for this diversion remains undisclosed. Sources close to the situation stated that both Trudeau and his 16-year-old son, Xavier, remained in New Delhi during this time.
Accommodations at the Lalit
The Lalit Hotel in New Delhi witnessed an influx of Canadian and Japanese guests, with most rooms booked by their delegations. However, as time passed, only around 30 rooms were still occupied by the Canadian Prime Minister’s core team and accompanying media.
India’s Concerns and Diplomatic Discussions
Trudeau’s prolonged stay in India coincided with diplomatic challenges, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed New Delhi’s concerns about ongoing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada. These elements were accused of promoting secessionism, inciting violence against Indian diplomats, and posing threats to the Indian community in Canada.
During their discussions at the G20 Summit, Modi emphasized the importance of a relationship based on “mutual respect and trust” for the progress of India-Canada relations, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Notably, in July, India summoned the Canadian envoy and issued a demarche due to the increasing activities of pro-Khalistani elements in Canada. Posters featuring names of India’s senior diplomats serving in Canada appeared in certain areas, raising concerns in India.
In June, a controversial video circulated on social media, depicting the assassination of Indira Gandhi. The video was reportedly part of a parade organized by Khalistani elements in Brampton, Canada. Responding to India’s concerns, Trudeau affirmed his country’s commitment to defending peaceful protests while preventing violence and countering hatred.
Controversy in Canada Over Trudeau’s India Visit
Trudeau’s travel disruptions in India stirred controversy back in Canada. Commentator Tom Mulcair, speaking on CTV, referred to it as a “debacle” and criticized the government for not investing in new planes, leading to an embarrassing situation.
Officials in Delhi disclosed that GMR Aerotech was examining the aircraft to determine the cause of the problem. This incident was not the first time Trudeau encountered technical issues during an India visit. In 2018, during a state visit, his A-310 aircraft faced technical problems before departing for Delhi.
The CC-150 Polaris, one of several modified Airbus A310-300 aircraft used by the Canadian armed forces for VIP transport, was involved in the recent incident. Notably, during previous issues, concerns about pro-Khalistani elements in Canada were also raised.
(With inputs from PTI)