After a lukewarm reception in India and controversy over a convicted Khalistani terrorist in his reception, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has supported a theory floated by a senior government official who suggested that Indian government factions set him up for embarrassment by allowing Jaspal Atwal into the country.An Opposition leader on Tuesday asked Trudeau whether he agrees with or disavows the “allegations” made by a senior government security source to media that “rogue political elements in India may have orchestrated the embarrassing invitation” to Atwal.In response, Trudeau said, “When one of our top diplomats and security officials says something to Canadians it’s because they know it to be true.” Atwal was a Sikh separatist active in the banned International Sikh Youth Federation when he was convicted of an attempt to murder of Punjab minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu in Vancouver in 1986.Sophie Trudeau and Jaspal Atwal pictured at Mumbai event on Feb 20During Trudeau’s visit, Atwal was seen posing along with Canadian Prime Minister’s wife Sophie Trudeau at an event in Mumbai on February 20.Last week, a government official suggested that Atwal’s presence was arranged by factions within the Indian government who wanted to embarrass Trudeau on Khalistan issue. Also readWho is Khalistani terrorist Jaspal Atwal, the man invited to Justin Trudeau’s reception?According to a report in the National Post, the source said it is “not an accident” that the Indian government removed Atwal from a blacklist of people blocked from obtaining visas to travel to the country — and that it would be convenient for some in India’s government, specifically its intelligence service, to embarrass Trudeau on the topic of Sikh separatism.The official said questions should be asked of the Indian government about how Atwal entered the country. It is not yet known as to how Atwal got an Indian visa. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said last week that it was ascertaining details from its mission on how Atwal got a visa. Although a convicted felon, he no longer figures in the Home Ministry’s blacklist of Sikh extremists, officials had said. Also readAt centre of Trudeau invitation storm, convicted Khalistani terrorist Jaspal Atwal no longer on India’s blacklistFollowing the controversy, the Canadian Prime Minister said, “He should never have received an invitation. As soon as we received the info we rescinded it. A member of Parliament had included this individual.””Canada and India are countries committed to pursuing and upholding democracy. We are the two largest democracies in the world, one by size and one by population,” Trudeau said in Delhi last week. Randeep Sarai, Canadian Member of Parliament (MP), took responsibility for inviting Atwal to Trudeau’s reception dinner.Canada also said that the Atwal was not part of the official delegation to the PM’s visit to India, nor was he invited by the Prime Minister’s Office.Also readKhalistani terrorist convicted of attempted murder of Punjab minister attended Justin Trudeau’s Mumbai eventMeanhwile, reports have emerged that the Indian authorities were denied access to the guest list.The Canadian PM was on a week-long visit to India from February 17-24.
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