Trudeau Rejects Air India One Offer
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was reportedly offered the service of Air India One by New Delhi. However, the Canadian side “declined” the offer and decided to wait for the replacement aircraft. The prime minister and his delegation, who were to leave the national capital after the G20 summit on Sunday, were stranded here due to technical issues with their aircraft. They finally flew out on Tuesday afternoon after another Canadian plane arrived for him.
News agency ANI later on Tuesday quoted its sources as saying that Trudeau had rejected Air India One services. The report came at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed strong concerns about continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada to his Canadian counterpart on the sidelines of G20 Summit.
Anti-India Activities in Canada
“The PM 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 Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
In July, India summoned the Canadian envoy and issued a demarche over the increasing activities by pro-Khalistani elements in Canada, days after posters featuring names of India’s senior diplomats serving in Canada featured in some posters in certain areas in that country. In June, a video emerged on social media that showed a float depicting the assassination of Indira Gandhi. It was reportedly part of a parade that was organised by some Khalistani elements in Brampton.
Asked about India’s concerns over the increasing activities of the Khalistani elements in Canada, Trudeau said at a press conference that his country will always defend freedom of peaceful protest but at the same time asserted that it will always prevent violence and push back against hatred.
“Canada will always defend freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, and freedom of peaceful protest and it is extremely important to us,” he said. “At the same time, we are always there to prevent violence and to push back against hatred. I think on the issue of the community, it is important to remember that the actions of the few do not represent the entire community or Canada,” Trudeau said.
Security Lapse Concerns
There were instances of India complaining to Canadian authorities over incidents of security lapse at the Indian consulate in Vancouver.
G20 Summit Discussions
A Canadian readout said Trudeau and Modi spoke about inclusive economic growth, support for low-and middle-income countries, and access to concessional finance for sustainable development. (with inputs from PTI)