Convicted Sikh extremist invited to Trudeau dinner during India trip

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau With his wife Sophie and Children at Darbar Sahib Complex

Justin Trudeau's ill-fated visit to India has stumbled from bad to worse, with the Canadian prime minister being accused of fraternising with terrorists after a man convicted of shooting an Indian minister was photographed with his wife.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has finally welcomed his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau five days after the latter arrived in India through a tweet.

"This individual should never have been invited to any event on the program, and his invitation has been rescinded", CBC news quoted the prime minister's office statement, which refers to the event, hosted by Canada's top diplomat in India on Thursday. Meanwhile, Canadian MP Randeep S Sarai took responsibility for inviting Atwal to Trudeau's Dehli reception dinner.

"The individual in question never should have received an invitation and as soon as we found out we rescinded the invitation immediately", said Trudeau in a brief statement Thursday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to hold talks with Justin Trudeau on Friday, the penultimate day of the Canadian prime minister's week-long India visit.

He was not part of Trudeau's official delegation and Canada had no part in getting him into the country, Canadian spokespeople said.

"The events of the 80s are now over 30 years old - many of us have trouble even speaking to them as we were children or not even born at the time", he said.

Atwal said he would not attend the dinner, since he was in Mumbai for business.

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The Canadian government's conduct with regard with Khalistani extremism has always been fairly disgraceful; but it is useful to remind ourselves that India and in particular, Punjab, have not covered themselves with glory.

Atwal's invitation wasn't caught until after he had already attended a reception with the prime minister on Tuesday evening, and posed for photos with both Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi. Foreign ministry sources said the chances were that he entered on an e-visa and cleared immigration because, according to the home ministry, Atwal was not on any black list.

A trial court convicted him and sentenced Atwal and others to 20 years' imprisonment.

Trudeau was criticized for announcing a billion dollar trade deal that turned out to be much better news for India and provided a trade deficit for Canada.

The Prime Minister added that he was keen to get reacquainted with Trudeau's three children - Xavier, Ella-Grace, and Hadrien - whom he'd first met during his visit to Canada back in 2015.

Previously, the Punjab chief minister had refused to meet Canada's defence minister Harjit Singh Sajjan in April, claiming he had links with supporters of the Khalistan movement-an allegation Sajjan denies.

"[Atwal] was taking part in an act of terrorism, of a foreign politician on Canadian soil and he managed to walk away, ultimately".

Canada has a large Sikh community and Mr Trudeau's cabinet includes four Sikh-Canadians. Let's play smart and leverage India's huge market, growing global status and people-to-people ties between India and Canada to get Ottawa to see things our way.

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