Don't indulge in petty politics over Harjit Singh Sajjan issue: PPCC

Sukhbir also mentioned how the previous SAD-BJP government in Punjab had witnessed a number of visits by Punjabi ministers from Canada.

Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh and Canadian defense minister Harjit Singh Sajjan (Below in article). "This visit will further strengthen Canada and India's bilateral defence cooperation, and expand our partnership in the security and defence sectors".

As earlier reported by TOI, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has already declared that he will not meet Sajjan during his visit to India since he was among the five Sikh ministers in the Justin Trudeau government in Canada who were "Khalistani sympathisers".

Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh's statement against Canadian defence minister Harjit Singh Sajjan terming him a "Khalistani sympathiser" has triggered a diplomatic row with the Canadian high commission on April 13 terming it "disappointing and inaccurate".

In Punjab, Sajjan will visit the Golden Temple and civil society organisations, while in Chandigarh, he will inaugurate the new office of the Consulate-General of Canada.

"It is important and in the interest of the good and friendly relationship between India and Canada that Sajjan clarifies his stand on this sensitive issue", state Congress leaders and MLAs said in a statement.

He said while Sajjan was welcome to attend conferences and meets, and even to visit Darbar Sahib, he would personally not entertain the Canadian minister as he had concrete information about his being a Khalistani sympathizer, just as his father Kundan Sajjan, a board member of the World Sikh Organization, was. The Khalistan movement was a Sikh nationalist movement active in 1970s through to 1990s that sought to create a Sikh homeland, Khalistan, in the Punjab region of India and Pakistan. One can take a lesson from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The pro-Khalistani leanings of Sajjan, scheduled to kick-start his controversial India visit on Monday evening, had been endorsed by several leaders of his own Liberal Party, many of whom had quit the party in protest against his candidature as a Liberal, the PPCC leaders pointed out.

The Chief Minister said on Wednesday that he will not meet the visiting Sikh minister. "We demand that he should be given full honour befitting a state guest", said the AAP leader.

  • Elsie Buchanan