February 18, 2018 1:17 pm
Updated: March 26, 2018 4:57 pm

Trudeau, Sajjan ask to meet with Indian politician who criticized Canadian government

WATCH: Trudeau to meet Punjab premier who accused Canada of supporting Sikh separatism

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During his trip to India, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has asked the Canadian High Commissioner to request a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

Singh has been critical of the Canadian government in the past – accusing several ministers, and Sajjan in particular, of being Khalistani sympathizers. Last year, when Sajjan came to India, he wanted to talk to Singh about the issue but Singh refused to meet with him.

READ MORE: Trudeau family touches down in India for week-long visit

Khalistan refers to Sikh separatists who are pushing for an independent Sikh state of that name.

WATCH: Canada requests meeting with Indian official who criticized ministers

Earlier this month, the magazine Outlook India put Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the cover with the headline “Khalistan II – Made in Canada.” Several articles in the publication accuse the Canadian government of being complicit in a rise in Sikh terrorism. Sajjan and Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi refuted the allegations in the articles.

The issue, and a possible meeting, has received much attention in Indian media.

Trudeau is on his first official state visit to India.

WATCH: Trudeau family visits Agra on first full day in India 


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While Indian media reported Singh planned to accompany Trudeau to the Golden Temple, until the trip began, Canadian government officials said there were no plans to meet with him. The Golden Temple is the holiest site for Sikhs and it’s in Singh’s state of Punjab.

READ MORE: As Trudeau pitches ‘progressive’ trade, will India be open for business?

Sunday evening in New Delhi, a government official speaking on background confirmed the plans had changed, and a meeting between Trudeau, Sajjan and Singh would be requested by Canadian High Commissioner Nadir Patel. The official wouldn’t say what prompted the change.

WATCH: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family kicked off their trip to India with a visit to the Taj Mahal on Sunday. 

Trudeau is in India until February 24th and the visit to the Golden Temple is planned for the 21st. He’s accompanied by six cabinet ministers, including all four who are Sikh. Fourteen MPs and a senator are also expected to join for parts of the trip.

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