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Justin Trudeau's visit: India, Canada NSAs discuss Sikh radicalism issue

Trudeau is beginning a seven-day India visit here tomorrow with an aim to further boost overall bilateral ties with a focus on enhancing defence and counter-terror cooperation

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo: Shutterstock
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

India's concerns over rising radicalism in are understood to have figured during a meeting between Security Advisers of the two countries this week, and the issue may figure during Canadian Justin Trudeau's talks with Indian leadership here.

Trudeau is beginning a seven-day visit here tomorrow with an aim to further boost overall bilateral ties with a focus on enhancing defence and counter-terror cooperation.

In response to a question on whether will take up the issue of rising pro-Khalistan radicalism in during Trudeau's visit, indicated that it may be raised.

Canadian diplomatic sources, while talking about the meeting held between the two NSAs here a couple of days back to prepare the ground for Trudeau's visit, indicated that New Delhi's concerns over radicalism in figured in the meeting.

"This is an important visit. All issues, which are of interest to us...which are of bilateral interests will be up on the agenda," said, when asked whether the issue will be taken up by during Trudeau's visit.

On trade, the sources said Canadian investments in India were likely to decline in absence of a mechanism to protect them and Trudeau and may deliberate, during their talks on February 23, on making forward movement in firming up the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the two countries.

The negotiators of both the countries met last week to overcome the hurdles in finalising the pact, the sources said, adding Canadian investments in India were around USD 15 billion in the last couple of years, and a free trade pact will further encourage investors from that country.

In 2017, two-way merchandise trade between Canada and India amounted to USD 8.4 billion, split equally between exports to and imports from India (USD 4 billion each).

A number of Canadian pension funds are also keen to invest in India.

The sources said the objective of the Canadian prime minister's visit here would be to expand overall ties between the two countries with a focus on defence and security, counter-terror cooperation, trade and investment and tackling climate change.

Both sides are also expected to deliberate on enhancing cooperation in civil nuclear sector.

A number of Trudeau's cabinet colleagues including Chrystia Freeland, Science and Navdeep Bains, Harjit Singh Sajjan, Science and and are also visiting India.

When referred to calling Canadian Sajjan as "Khalistani sympathiser" ahead of his visit here last year, the diplomatic sources called the remarks "disappointing and inaccurate".

"This will be an opportunity for the to promote Canada-India cooperation on a range of issues and highlight Canada's support for a strong, united, diverse India and to further strengthen the vibrant strategic partnership," said a Canadian diplomatic source.

Besides his engagements in Delhi, Trudeau will visit Agra, Ahmedabad, and

Officials said Trudeau's his visit to will be first by a Canadian prime minister.

Trudeau, who will be accompanied by his wife and three children, is schedule to visit on February 18, and next day he will travel to where he will visit Sabarmati Ashram. He will visit in Gandhi Nagar and participate at an event at IIM-

On February 20, he will visit where he will hold meetings with top business leaders and meet representatives of Indian Film industry to explore various opportunities in the field of cinema.

On February 21, the Canadian PM will travel to where he will visit the He will return to the same day.

Trudeau is scheduled to visit and a cricket ground here on February 22 besides delivering a lecture at a gathering of Canadian and Indian business leaders.

He will hold wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Modi on February 23.

The next day, he is scheduled to address a conference of young change-makers before wrapping up his visit.

The ties between India and Canada have been on an upswing. Approximately 1.4 million Canadians are of Indian heritage and India is Canada's second largest source of immigrants.

Canada is also a leading education destination for Indian students, and India is the second largest source of international students, an estimated 124,000 in 2017, as per official figures.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, February 16 2018. 21:05 IST