As Canada looks to Indian trade opportunities, Trudeau denies being given cold shoulder – National


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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has denied that he’s being given the chilly shoulder by the Indian authorities over its considerations about Sikh separatists in Canada, amid considerations that the difficulty might hinder Canada’s mission to increase commerce with the world’s second-most populous nation.

Three days into his first official state go to to India, Trudeau and household have managed a number of photograph alternatives on the Taj Mahal and different well-known websites, however he’s but to satisfy with any senior members of the Indian authorities.

Trudeau was greeted by a junior agriculture minister upon arrival in New Delhi, and isn’t scheduled to satisfy with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi till Friday, Feb. 23, six days into his journey.

It’s not frequent protocol for Indian prime ministers to greet visiting heads of presidency on the tarmac — former prime minister Stephen Harper wasn’t greeted by Modi’s predecessor Manmohan Singh in 2012. However the social media-savvy Modi is but to even tweet a welcome message to Trudeau, though he tweeted a photograph of himself assembly with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani the identical day that Trudeau landed in India.

READ MORE: Sikh nationalism will overshadow Justin Trudeau’s journey to India, says knowledgeable

Requested in regards to the matter by International Nationwide correspondent Abigail Bimman on Monday, Trudeau stated all was effectively between him and Modi.

“I final met with the prime minister only a few weeks in the past in Davos. I’ve met him a variety of occasions in varied locations world wide, and I’m very happy to be right here. I’m trying ahead to sitting down with him on Friday,” Trudeau stated.

“However within the meantime, as you’ve seen, we’re partaking as we should with such a deep and multi-faceted relationship because the friendship between Canada and India. It’s not nearly political ties, it’s about deep enterprise and financial ties, that we will and can develop.”

On Monday, Trudeau confirmed that he can be assembly with Punjab’s chief minister (head of presidency) Amarinder Singh, after beforehand denying Indian media experiences that the 2 have been set to satisfy.

Singh has beforehand accused members of Trudeau’s cupboard, together with Protection Minister Harjit Sajjan, of being linked to Sikh separatists who need to create an ethno-state known as Khalistan in Punjab.

WATCH: Trudeau to satisfy Punjab premier who accused Canada of supporting Sikh separatism

Former B.C. premier Ujjal Dosanjh, who was born in India’s Sikh-majority Punjab state, says folks is likely to be studying an excessive amount of into the truth that Trudeau is but to satisfy with Modi — however that doesn’t imply there isn’t severe trigger for concern.

Dosanjh says Singh, an Indian battle hero and vocal opponent of the Khalistan motion, was prepared to put aside his variations with Sikh separatists to satisfy with Trudeau, however was snubbed by the Trudeau authorities earlier than it later modified its thoughts.

“He was nonetheless ready to welcome Mr. Trudeau to the Golden Temple [Sikhs’ holiest site] and be his tour information… and he needed to be respectful to Canada. That’s how I see it sitting at a distance,” Dosanjh advised International Information. “In return, Mr. Trudeau’s authorities snubbed him, saying they weren’t searching for a gathering with him.

“Now that merely reaffirms in many individuals’s minds that Mr. Trudeau’s authorities could have Khalistanis in it, or sympathizers.”

WATCH: Sajjan says accusations of Canada being complicit in rise of Sikh terrorism ‘completely ridiculous’

Singh and Modi belong to rival political events in India, however are united of their frequent concern about Sikh separatists in Canada, Dosanjh stated.

“I believe this goes past politics for India.”

The problem crosses the Canadian political divide too, Dosanjh added.

“The actual situation is that politicians of all main political events on this nation have performed footsie with the Khalistanis for a very long time,” he stated. “They’ve attended parades the place portraits of Talwinder Parmar [widely regarded as the mastermind of the 1985 Air India bombing] are greeted with respect and paraded round.”

READ MORE: Jagmeet Singh denounces ‘anybody held accountable’ for Air India bombing

However Dosanjh hailed Canada’s change of coronary heart and information of Trudeau confirming the assembly with Singh, though it’s unclear whether or not Sajjan will probably be concerned.

“I don’t know why they’ve modified their thoughts, however I believe it’s a very good factor… higher late than by no means,” he stated. “Canada has not been cognizant of the significance of the Khalistan situation. However hopefully, now they are going to be.”

Dosanjh stated sturdy Canada-India relations are vital to develop commerce ties — bilateral commerce between the 2 nations quantities to solely about $eight billion yearly.

“Even commerce between Iran and India is way bigger than that.”

READ MORE: As Trudeau pitches ‘progressive’ commerce, will India be open for enterprise?

Shuvaloy Majumdar, a international coverage analyst and Munk senior fellow with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute in Ottawa, says Canada must act now to take advantage of rising commerce alternatives in India.

For many years, India stubbornly clung to the notion of being a self-sustaining state, Majumdar stated, however its financial system has opened as much as the surface world to an unprecedented diploma below business-minded prime minister Modi since his election in 2014 — and Canadian traders are desirous to take benefit.

“Whether or not it’s expertise, agriculture or institutional traders just like the Canadian pension funds, we’re beginning to see that the macroeconomic reforms of the Modi authorities in India are yielding a greater enterprise local weather, and Canadian traders and commerce companions are beginning to be aware of it,” Majumdar stated.

“The chance of India’s financial improvement is one thing that Canada’s very effectively suited to be a companion of, and Canadian companies can do very effectively by collaborating in it and taking a long-term view in direction of it.”

But when Canada is to reap the fruits of a more healthy commerce relationship with India, it first must pay heed to Indian sensitivities on the Khalistan situation, says Majumdar.

“There’s a fantastic suspicion that the Indian authorities has in direction of the type of constituencies that some political leaders in Canada depend upon with regards to their very own political success in Canada,” Majumdar stated. “It’s creating some inhibitions from a authorities and nation like India to work extra intently with Canadian companions.

“There are some nice alternatives… and it’s at all times vital to see political leaders echo that and point out that it is a welcome creation, if they’ll navigate the thorny political points.”

Trudeau is scheduled to satisfy with Indian enterprise leaders on Tuesday, earlier than assembly with Punjab chief minister Singh on Wednesday. He’ll then give a lecture to Canadian and Indian enterprise leaders on Thursday, earlier than assembly with Prime Minister Modi on Friday and wrapping up his week-long go to Saturday.

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