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Published On: Fri, Feb 23rd, 2018

India Canada issue joint statement, focus on terrorism, trade ties

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modi-trudeau_650x400_41519377325NEW DELHI : Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau on Friday held extensive talks on key issues of counter-terrorism and extremism as well as ways to boost trade ties, after which the two sides inked six pacts, including on energy cooperation.
After their nearly two-hour long meeting, Modi, while addressing a joint media event with the Canadian prime minister, said they discussed the entire gamut of the bilateral partnership.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent out a strong message today when he said at joint press briefing, “There should not be space for those who misuse religion for political motives and promote separatism.
We will not tolerate those who challenge unity and integrity of our countries.” Mr Trudeau’s first visit to India has been clouded by talk of a frosty reception on account of the Canadian government’s perceived soft approach to Sikh extremists demanding Khalistan. This morning, PM Modi met Mr Trudeau for the first time since he landed in India 5 days ago, greeting him with his signature bear-hug.
During his joint briefing with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, PM Modi asserted that it is important that the two countries work together to fight terrorism. Modi said there should be no place for those who misuse religion for political goals.

According to News Agency pti the prime minister also made it clear that those who challenge India’s sovereignty and unity will not be tolerated. Modi’s remarks come amidst criticism of the Trudeau government’s soft approach towards the Khalistan issue. Observing that Trudeau has visited various parts of India in last few days, Modi said the Canadian leader must have experienced the diversity of the country.
At today’s bilateral meeting, PM Modi and Mr Trudeau focused on trade, defense, civil nuclear cooperation, space, tackling climate change energy and education. Cooperation on counter-terror measures was a key area of focus in view of India’s concerns over Sikh radicalism in Canada.
“We discussed strengthening people-to-people ties. Canada has 1.3 million people of Indian descent. We seek to uphold democratic traditions, pluralism and diversities,” Mr Trudeau said.

On Wednesday, the dinner invitation to Khalistani terrorist Jaspal Atwal at a reception for Mr Trudeau at the Canada House in the national capital was cancelled. On Tuesday, he had attended an event in Mumbai and was photographed with Mr Trudeau’s wife Sophie Trudeau and Canadian minister Amarjeet Sohi.

The invitations proved a huge embarrassment to Canada and Mr Trudeau said he would take action against the person responsible for issuing the invitation to Jaspal Atwal, who was sentenced to 20 years in jail for trying to kill a Punjab minister visiting Canada in 1986. Canadian parliamentarian Randeep Sarai has taken the blame and issued an apology.
The visit of the 46-year-old Prime Minister — who once remarked that he had more Sikhs in his cabinet than PM Modi — is seen as an outreach to the Sikhs residing in Canada, who form a chunk of Mr Trudeau’s domestic constituency. An estimated 1.4 million people of Indian origin are settled in Canada.(With Agency Inputs ).

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