Ending his long-kept silence over his unexpected appearance at a Mumbai event organised for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, convicted Khalistani terrorist Jaspal Atwal apologised for his uninvited visit and further stated that he does not demand an independent Sikh nation anymore. The matter was highlighted after a photograph of Jaspal Atwal with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s wife Sophie Trudeau at a dinner reception for the Canadian leader surfaced. Soon after the photograph went viral, several questions were raised hinting at links between Atwal and Trudeau. Several security lapses were also pointed out as to why and how he was invited to be at Trudeau’s function.
Talking to media from his lawyer’s office, Jaspal Atwal claimed that he got in touch with Liberal MP Randeep Sarai asking if there was a possibility where he could attend Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s dinner reception in India. Addressing a press conference, Atwal stated, “When my attendance became the news story that brings us here today, I was completely shocked and devastated. When I asked to consider attending the reception, I had assumed there would be no problem. No one at any point indicated there would be any issue.”
Further issuing an apology for causing embarrassment to the two nations and his community, Jaspal Atwal said, “I am sorry for any embarrassment this matter has caused to Canada, India, my community and my family.” 62-year-old Jaspal Atwal was a convict in an attempted murder case of former Punjab Minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu in 1986 in Vancouver. The leader was later assassinated in 1991. As per a report by India Today, Atwal further stated that he deserved all the punishments for the crimes he committed in past. He said, “I have done my best to redeem myself and become someone who contributes to Canada and the Indian community. I do not advocate in any sense for an independent Sikh nation. I, like the vast majority of Sikhs, who once advocated for this cause, have reconciled with the nation of India. India has also been reconciling with these same Sikhs who once sought independence. Canada is my home, India is my homeland.”