Canada militant group asks India to shut Ottawa embassy after PM Trudeau’s ‘disrespect’ at G20
Trudeau faced a backlash from his opposition and media in Canada over the treatment he received at the G20 summit.
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau addresses a press conference at the G20 Leaders’ Summit, in New Delhi, India, on September 10, 2023. (ANI Photo)
REPERCUSSIONS of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s strong words uttered during his bilateral talks with Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of the just concluded G20 summit in New Delhi were felt in the North American nation with a militant group there asking India on Tuesday (12) to close its embassy in Ottawa and recall its high commissioner to India Sanjay Kumar Verma.
Trudeau’s visit to India came at a time when the two democracies are not having their best of relations due to pro-Khalistan and anti-India activism on Canadian soil and Ottawa’s allegations of India’s interference in Canadian affairs.
The threat was issued at a time when the Canadian prime minister was left stranded at the airport in New Delhi as his three-decade old Airbus aircraft developed a snag. It was only on Tuesday that Trudeau was able to leave the Indian shores after his plane was repaired. The departure was delayed by two days.
India’s Times of India reported that the host nation offered its VVIP long-haul aircraft India One to fly the Canadian premier back home but the guests declined the offer and left on their own plane after it was airworthy. An alternative aircraft was sent from Ottawa but it was diverted back as the original plane was repaired.
The Canadian prime minister had a less-than-memorable trip to India.
Modi did not post any “welcome note” like he did for other leaders after Trudeau reached India from Southeast Asia on Friday (8). It was also reported that Trudeau did not attend the G20 gala dinner hosted by Indian president Droupadi Murmu and the prime minister’s office did not cite any reason. The Canadian leader, who has been serving in the office since 2015, was also conspicuous by his absence at the launch of the Global Biofuels Alliance and the announcement of the India-Middle East corridor.
The 51-year-old Canadian premier also reportedly avoided having a long handshake with Modi after he reached Raj Ghat to pay tributes to iconic Indian freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi.
Trudeau faces backlash at home over G20 experience
At home too, Trudeau was facing a backlash over the alleged disrespect he got in India.
Pierre Poilievre, the opposition leader who is in the race for the prime minister’s post, posted the front page of Canada’s popular newspaper Toronto Sun front page mocking Trudeau on social media site X saying, “Putting partisanship aside, no one likes to see a Canadian prime minister repeatedly humiliated and trampled upon by the rest of the world.”
Toronto Sun published its front page on Sunday (10) with the headline ‘This Way Out’, with Modi gesturing to Trudeau to move ahead after a customary handshake at the venue of the G20 summit. It also said Trudeau finds he has few friends at the summit.
The militant group that issued the threat held the Modi government responsible for Trudeau’s “disrespect”.
Sources in the Indian government said that it was the second threat issued in the last 48 hours. It said Modi should recall his ambassador to Canada or “would face consequences”.
“Now proves whatever we claim is absolutely right. All terror calls originated from Canada and for this leadership is responsible,” they were quoted as saying by News18.
In June, India’s external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar reacted strongly to staging of anti-India activities in Canada, including an event ‘celebrating’ the assassination of former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards, saying such incidents did not augur well for Canada’s bilateral relations with India.