Atwal's invitation to India was an 'honest mistake': Canada Foreign Affairs Minister Freeland told India

Image: twitter.com/cafreeland

Atwal's invitation to India was an 'honest mistake': Canada Foreign Affairs Minister Freeland told India

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 12 Mar 2018

Ottawa, Mar 12 (IBNS): Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told her Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj that the invitation of convicted pro-Khalistani terrorist Jaspal Atwal to India was an "honest mistake", media reports said.

Freeland said she met Swaraj in Delhi during her visit to India along with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

She said: "I started off the meeting by saying to her that it had been an honest mistake and that the invitation had been withdrawn."

"I felt it was incumbent on me to explain to her Canada’s thinking behind this invitation. It was important for her to hear, directly from me, that this was a person that in the view of the government of Canada had no business being at that reception," Freeland said.

"What was good about that meeting was that she was very understanding. I also said to her that it was noteworthy that Mr. Atwal had been able to travel to India" she added.

Atwal was convicted in Canada for attempting the murder of then-Punjab minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu on Vancouver Island in 1986.

Atwal's invitation to the dinner hosted by the Canadian High Commissioner in India on Thursday came as an embarrassment for Trudeau as he had ensured Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh of Canada's distance from all those who are allegedly involved with the Sikh separatist movement.

Trudeau has also promised to take actions against all who want the Indian state of Punjab to be a separate country, named Khalistan.

As a damage control, the invitation to Atwal was later rescinded.

Atwal's invitation to India was an 'honest mistake': Canada Foreign Affairs Minister Freeland told India

India Blooms News Service
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