OTTAWA: An Indo-Canadian Sikh Harjit Sajjan was named as the new Defence Minister of Canada on Wednesday as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 30 member cabinet celebrated the swearing-in ceremony in Ottawa.
A reputed Lt Colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces, Harjit Sajjan who is elected as a MP for Vancouver South is a fighting veteran and has served in Bosnia and had three deployments to Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Trudeau was sworn in as the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada before a large gathering almost 50 years after his father took over as the post.
The new Defence Minister has been awarded with numerous military honours which also include the Meritorious Service Medal in 2013, for reducing the Taliban’s influence in the Kandahar Province.
According to the citation on the Governor General’s website “His approach, based on his knowledge of local culture and tribal dynamics, helped senior management to engage with influential Afghan tribal leaders, and led to the identification of insurgent command and control connection points.”
45-year-old Indian born Sajjan moved to Canada with his family when he was five-years-old, a media report said.
Sajjan in his new job as the Defence Minister will work in association with PM Trudeau on reshaping the combat mission of Canada fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria.