CHANDIGARH: Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has welcomed the categorical denial by Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan of taking a pro-Khalistani stance, and congratulated Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for creating the necessary environment against secessionist forces believed to be operating from his country.
Sajjan’s statement, carried by the Canadian Press on Wednesday, that he and fellow Sikh minister Amarjit Sohi, "neither sympathise with nor espouse the Sikh nationalist movement, which is bent on creating a separate country called Khalistan in India’s Punjab region” indicated that the Canadian Prime Minister had clearly sent out a strong signal within his party and government that he would not allow his country’s soil to be used for any anti India activities, said the Chief Minister.
The latest statements by Sajjan and Sohi, who has also made it clear that he does not sympathise with the (Khalistani) cause, have paved the way for better relations with Canada, which shares strong roots with India in view of the large Sikh population settled there, Captain Amarinder said, in a statement issued here on Thursday.
Reiterating that he had always found Trudeau to be a fine human being, the Chief Minister said he looked forward to meeting the Canadian Prime Minister during the latter’s visit to India, including Punjab, later this month. The visit, said Amarinder, would give Canada and Punjab the opportunity to strengthen business and trade ties for mutual benefit.
Divisive forces propagating terrorism should not be encouraged at any cost by any nation, Captain stressed, adding that such activities pose a serious threat to global peace and, therefore, should not be allowed to flourish in any part of the world. Nurturing or supporting separatist forces always proves detrimental, in the long run, not only to countries against which they are unleashed but also to those which allow such elements to operate from their soil, he added.
Amarinder pointed out that Canada had always been a friend of India, especially Punjab, whose people had contributed significantly to the Western nation’s progress and development.