The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ended his long-kept shush over the presence of Khalistani terrorist, Jaspal Athwal, at an event organised in Mumbai by extending support to one his bureaucrats who had alleged that it was the factions among the Indian government which were to blamed for the presence of a Khalistani terrorist. Soon after the remarks were made MEA on Wednesday the MEA stated they have examined the recent issue and found that neither its government nor its agencies had anything to do with Jaspal Athwal’s presence at Mumbai event. The MEA also added it had no clue about the invitation extended to him for the Canadian High Commissioner’s reception in Delhi.
Reacting to the Jaspal Athwal controversy the MEA said, “We have seen the recent exchange in the Parliament of Canada regarding two invitations issued to Jaspal Atwal by the Canadian High Commissioner, for functions hosted in honour of the Canadian Prime Minister in India”. It further added that any suggestion to the contrary is baseless and unacceptable. Jaspal Athwal was named as one of the four accused who had attempted the murder of Punjab state minister back in 1986 in Vancouver. The matter was highlighted after a photograph of Jaspal Athwal with Justin Trudeau’s wife Sophie Trudeau went viral on the social media.
Reports suggested that apart from being asked to be a part of the Mumbai event, Jaspal Athwal was also invited to attend the dinner which was to be hosted in New Delhi. However, after the matter of presence of a Khalistani terrorist surfaced, his invitation was cancelled by the concerned authorities. Soon after the matter was highlighted, several Canadian media reported the officials in Ottawa believed that ‘rogue political elements’ within India may have engineered the Jaspal Atwal fiasco in India. Earlier on February 22, several Canadian media reported that “A senior government official with knowledge of Trudeau’s security protocols had suggested that rogue political elements in India may have orchestrated the embarrassing invitation to Athwal in an attempt to “make the Canadian government appear sympathetic to Sikh extremism.
Addressing the media, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau backed the comments by his officials. He claimed that when one of his top diplomats and security officials say something to Canadians, it’s because they know it to be true. The following statement by the Canadian PM was issued after the opposing government in the country had cornered PM Trudeau on the issue. Raising the matter in the Parliament the opposition Leader Andrew Scheer stated, “A senior security official made these allegations. Does the prime minister agree or disavow those allegations?”