Hours after Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh claimed that the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had assured him during their meeting on Wednesday that his country did not support any separatist movement in India or elsewhere, Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan on Thursday reiterated his stand that the “anti-Sikh violence in 1984 was truly tragic and is an issue close to the hearts of many Sikh Canadians”.
In his statement tweeted from his official Twitter account, Sajjan said, “The Punjabi diaspora has made strong contributions to Canada. It was important to speak with the Chief Minister of Punjab to continue to strengthen our people-to-people ties for our respective regions.”
“Prime Minister Trudeau and I had a constructive conversation with the Chief Minister of Punjab, and he commended us for Canada’s support for a strong and united India. We agreed that both governments are committed to countering all forms of violence,” said Sajjan.
However, Sajjan also said the Canada government “will continue to stand up for human rights and peaceful freedom of expression everywhere.”
“Also, let us not forget the loss of life that resulted from anti-Sikh violence in 1984 which was truly tragic and is an issue close to the hearts of many Sikh Canadians,” he said. Meanwhile, Justin Trudeau tweeted about his visit to the Golden Temple and his brief stay at the Partition Museum. His tweets, however, did not mention his meeting with Amarinder.
Earlier, Trudeau has met Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Maharashtra CM Devendra Fandnavis during his current visit to India and tweeted about both meetings. The Punjab CM had made five tweets to welcome Trudeau in Amritsar.
Harjit Singh Sajjan, however, tweeted his picture shaking hands with Captain Amarinder Singh with Trudeau standing in middle. In the past, Amarinder had accused Trudeau and his ministers, especially Sajjan, of having sympathy for Khalistani separatists.