Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to begin his seven-day state visit to India on Saturday. Besides Mumbai and Delhi, Trudeau’s stops include Amritsar, Agra and Ahmedabad.
Arriving at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Trudeau will hold talks on strengthening bilateral relations in key areas of mutual interest, including trade and investment, energy, science and innovation. Discussions on co-operation in security and counter-terrorism and exchange views on global and regional issues of mutual interest will also form important components of the visit, according to a press statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs last month.
Trudeau is also expected to participate in several business roundtables to promote further trade and investment between Canada and India.
While Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was expected to receive the Canadian PM during the latter’s visit to Amritsar and accompany him to the Golden Temple, however, Trudeau will not meet Singh who has publicly accused members of Trudeau’s cabinet of being connected to the formation of Khalistan, a separate Sikh state movement, the ANI reported.
“We have nothing planned with him (Amarinder) at this time,” said a Canadian official. The development comes after Amarinder called Canadian defence minister Harjit Singh Sajjan as a ‘Khalistani sympathiser’, during the latter’s visit to India in April last year.
Canada has a sizeable Sikh diaspora that supported Trudeau’s liberal party. Trudeau’s cabinet has as many as four Sikh ministers.
Trudeau is also likely to address the students at Indian Institute of Management (IIM-A) in Ahmedabad on February 19. “The Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad will have the pleasure of hosting the prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, for a lecture on Monday, February 19,” the IIM-A said in a statement. This is for the first time that the Prime Minister of a foreign country will be visiting the IIMA, the institute said.
While in India, the Canadian PM will engage with youth, and visit several landmarks, including the Taj Mahal, the Jama Masjid, and Swaminarayan Akshardham, the ANI reported.
Modi travelled to Canada in 2015 while former PM Manmohan Singh went to Canada in 2010 for the G20 meet. Then Canadian PM Stephen Harper visited India in 2009 and 2012.