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Published: Tue, April 18, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Congress seeks clarification from Canadian minister on Khalistan

Congress seeks clarification from Canadian minister on Khalistan

Reacting to Canada's reply, Amarinder Singh today said he is "not bothered" about what Canada thinks about his stand on its minister Harjit Sajjan and asserted that he will not associate himself with "Khalistani sympathisers".

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had drawn sharp flak of Sikh community for announcing not to attend S. Harjit Singh Sajjan by blaming of being a "Khalistan Sympathizer".

Canada on Thursday described as "disappointing and inaccurate" the comments allegedly made by Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh that five ministers, including defence minister Harjit Sajjan, in the Justin Trudeau government were "Khalistani sympathisers".

He said: "Amarinder should not have let a personal incident cloud his judgement and he should have refrained from making disparaging remarks against Sajjan as well as all other Punjabi representatives in the Canadian parliament". "But as an elected representative of the Punjabi people, he should have welcomed Sajjan as a state guest".

"It is surprising that the High Commission has preferred to remain quiet on the specific issue that is of serious concern and consequences for the peace-loving Punjabis", they said, alleging that instead of clarifying on the issue, the High Commission has tried to cover it up and put up a vague defence.

Minister Sajjan's visit is an ideal opportunity to highlight strong links between Canada and India, and to boost our people-to-people ties.

The Power and Irrigation Minister in the Amarinder-led Congress government in the state claimed that the "wild allegations" levelled by the SAD had exposed its "pro- Khalistani" leanings, considering that many Canadian liberals had criticised Sajjan for expressing such views.

The "outburst" against Sajjan, is Amarinder being "vindictive" towards NRIs living in Canada as they did not welcome him during his pre-poll visit to the country, he alleged. The state government would provide full security to the minister and also ensure that he gets due treatment as per protocol, said Amarinder.

Sajjan, a Sikh, will also travel to Amritsar, Chandigarh and Mumbai. "He should not be disrespected in this manner", the former Punjab Deputy Chief Minister said.

Senior Congress leaders and MLAs, including Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Sukh Sarkaria and Navtej Cheema, reiterated that the Canadian Defence Minister and some of his ministerial and parliamentary colleagues had a "known affiliation with anti-India forces".

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