Separatist links: Amarinder Singh says Canadian PM Trudeau playing with fire
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday said that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s affinity with separatist militants was like playing with fire. The Chief Minister said that the appointment of a wanted terrorist to spearhead the `Khalistan Referendum 2020’ campaign exposed the true motive and intent behind the separatist movement and urged the Central government to press the global community to join India in cracking down on this grave threat to its peace and security.
Reacting strongly to media reports to the roping in by Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was on the list of wanted persons he had shared with Mr Trudeau during their meeting in Amritsar in February 2018, Capt Amarinder expressed concern over the Canadian government’s covert and overt support to the hardliners operating from its soil to create disturbance in India.
Even as he urged Mr Trudeau not to play with fire by allowing such elements to use Canadian territory to disrupt India’s peace and stability, the Chief Minister called upon New Delhi to take a more proactive stand in dealing with these forces trying to foment trouble in the country, particularly Punjab, from other parts of the world.
Capt Amarinder also expressed concern over Canada’s failure to rein in such hardline elements seeking to disturb India’s peace and security, and posing a grave threat in particular to Punjab. It was in the interest of any administration in Canada to check the spread of such forces on its soil, he added, warning that allowing the perpetuation of such elements would be detrimental to Canada’s own safety and security in the long run.
He pointed out that Nijjar was accused by India of running a terror camp in British Columbia, target killings in India and conducting weapons training for anti-India terrorists in the west. Said to be close to the legal advisor of secessionist organisation Sikhs For Justice, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Nijjar’s taking over of the Khalistan ‘Referendum 2020’ campaign was a clear sign of the movement assuming even more diabolical proportions, he added.
The Referendum 2020 had never been the peaceful movement it claimed to be, but by roping in Nijjar, it was clear that SFJ had given up all pretensions of steering a non-violent campaign, said the Chief Minister. Given that the movement was openly supported and backed by Pakistan’s ISI, which had been pushing terror into India directly and indirectly for decades now, it was blatantly clear that the so-called Referendum campaign was nothing but a front for the agency to boost its anti-India agenda, he added.
By bringing Nijjar into the mainstream of the movement, SFJ and ISI had well and truly shown their hand, and their intention of creating trouble for Punjab in any which way, said Captain Amarinder. With the Sikhs in India rejecting outright the divisive propaganda of SFJ and Islamabad, Nijjar was clearly a last-ditch resort but this will also fail, he added.
It may be recalled that on 23rd June 1985, Canadian Sikh terrorists had blown up an Air India flight operating on the Toronto–Montreal–London–Delhi route.The bombing of Air India Flight 182 was the largest mass killing in Canadian history, and was also the world’s most destructive act of aviation terrorism until 9/11.The latest controversy erupted on 21st February, 2018, over a dinner invitation to convicted Khalistan terrorist Jaspal Atwal by the Canadian High Commissioner to India during Mr Trudeau’s visit to the country.
Moving swiftly to control damage, high commissioner Nadir Patel cancelled the invite for the dinner, hosted on that Thursday night for Mr Trudeau, while the external affairs ministry said it will “ascertain” how Atwal entered India.
Reacting to the controversy, Trudeau had said, “Obviously, we take this situation extremely seriously. The individual in question never should have received an invitation and, as soon as we found out, we rescinded the invitation immediately… The member of Parliament who included this individual has, and will, assume full responsibility for his actions.”