Canadian Defence Minister begins week-long visit to India
Apr 18 2017
The pro-Khalistani leanings of Sajjan, scheduled to kick-start his controversial India visit on Monday evening, had been endorsed by several leaders of his own Liberal Party, many of whom had quit the party in protest against his candidature as a Liberal, the PPCC leaders pointed out.
Rejecting Canada's defence of Harjit Singh Sajjan, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today said he stood by his principled stand of not associating himself with any "Khalistani sympathizer". Kirpal Singh Badungar said that it will be proud moment for the Punjab resident Sikhs on April 20 when Canadian Defence Minister S. Harjit Singh Sajjan will pay obeisance at the sanctum sanctorum Sri Harmandir Sahib. "But as an elected representative of the Punjabi people, he should have welcomed Sajjan as a state guest".
"He should have refrained from making disparaging remarks against Mr. Sajjan as well as all other Punjabi representatives in the Canadian parliament", said Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal. It was shameful that certain elements within India were choosing to ignore hard facts that many in Canada itself had taken serious note of, they noted.
Describing such stands as "counter-productive", he warned that it would not augur well for Punjab and come in the way of trade and bilateral relations with Canada. It also said Canada greatly values its relationship with the people and the government of Punjab, and looks forward to further advancing it.
"Harjit Sajjan is a Khalistani sympathiser and so was his father", the Chief Minister alleged during a programme in a private TV channel. "In fact, he has gone out of the way to improve the relations between India and the U.S.", said Sukhbir.
"We regret that the Chief Minister of Punjab is unavailable to meet with Canada's Minister of Defence".
"It is unfortunate. Captain Amarinder Singh has not only insulted the Canadian Defence Minister, but Punjabis in general and Sikhs in particular".
The "outburst" against Sajjan, is Amarinder being "vindictive" towards NRIs living in Canada as they did not welcome him during his pre-poll visit to the country, he alleged.
Sajjan, a Sikh, will also travel to Amritsar, Chandigarh and Mumbai.
Recalling England's "War of Roses", the Chief Minister said the India-Pakistan tension is going the same way and needs to give way to peace.