Trudeau Exit Delayed as Plane Down

HYDERABAD: Amid strained bilateral ties with India, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced a significant setback as his official aircraft encountered a major malfunction, leaving him stranded at his hotel in New Delhi. This situation has become a major embarrassment for Canada, with the possibility of Trudeau's earliest departure being on Tuesday afternoon, according to an official Canadian statement issued on Monday. Reports in Canadian media indicated that Trudeau was originally scheduled to depart New Delhi on Sunday night after the conclusion of the G20 Summit. A Canadian military aircraft is now en route to Delhi to transport the Prime Minister and his delegation back to Canada. Some reports suggested that the aircraft in question was outdated and should have been retired from such duties long ago.

The official Canadian statement read, "The Canadian Armed Forces continue their best efforts to get the Canadian delegation home. We will keep you updated regularly as the situation evolves. Their latest update shows an earliest possible departure of Tuesday late afternoon. The situation remains fluid."

During a bilateral meeting with his Canadian counterpart on Sunday at the G20 Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi candidly expressed New Delhi's "strong concerns about continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada." He said that these elements "are promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats, damaging diplomatic premises, and threatening the Indian community in Canada and their places of worship." Modi stressed that a relationship based on mutual respect and trust is vital for the progress of India-Canada relations.

However, a statement issued by the Canadian government on Sunday, following the meeting, emphasized the importance of "respecting the rule of law, democratic principles, and national sovereignty." This statement was seen by some as a lecture to India and a defiant stance by Trudeau. Notably, the Canadian statement did not address India's concerns regarding the need to address pro-Khalistan extremism.

Trudeau was quoted in the Canadian media as asserting that "Diaspora Canadians" have the right to freedom of speech and "peaceful protest," and that Canada would always defend these rights. He claimed to have raised the issue of "foreign interference" in Canada by India with Modi, as well as the activities of pro-Khalistan elements, which he insisted did not represent the views of Canada. Trudeau also stated that his government did not support "hate and violence."

It's worth noting that the Canadian government, under Trudeau's leadership, has been criticised for its perceived leniency toward pro-Khalistan elements that have openly issued threats to India and the Indian community in Canada, and have been involved in vandalising Hindu temples. New Delhi suspects that Trudeau is turning a blind eye to these elements due to domestic political considerations.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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