Jaspal Atwal No Longer in Home Ministry's Blacklist of Sikh Extremists

Justin Trudeau and family performing ‘seva’ at the Darbar Sahib

Despite those efforts, however, those suspicions will nearly certainly continue to linger following the reveal that Jaspal Atwal, who was convicted of attempted murder related to a 1986 attack on an Indian cabinet minister, managed to make it onto the guest list for a reception hosted by the Canadian High Commission in Delhi.

The Canadian High Commission would not comment on whether Atwal was part of Trudeau's official delegation, although reports in Canada said Trudeau's office had denied this. The invite was later rescinded.

The resultant uproar caused the Canadian high commission to cancel Atwal's invitation for the dinner in New Delhi on Thursday evening.

Atwal was an agent with the International Sikh Youth Federation, a recognized terrorist organization in both Canada and India.

The Prime Minister also said Canada and India were "committed to pursuing and upholding democracy". "We are in the process of looking into how this occurred".

The Ministry of External Affairs said there are two aspects to the issue - presence and visa.

"On official state visits to India, PM Modi personally greets and welcomes the Israeli PM, UAE Crown Prince and U.S. President. As soon as we received the information we rescinded it", he said, further adding that a Canadian member of parliament, Randeep Sarai, included Atwal in the list of invitees. "I should have exercised better judgment, and I take full responsibility for my actions", he was reported as saying by ANI.

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That sections within the Canadian government allegedly support Sikh separatists who demand a Khalistan carved out of India has not helped matters.

While ties between New Delhi and Ottawa remain frosty with Canada offering a platform to Khalistan separatists, the two prime ministers are scheduled to hold a bilateral summit on Friday.

The Union Minister made these suggestions on the sidelines of a India-Canada business session. The individual in question should have never received an invitation.

"Mr. Trudeau can perhaps salvage our relationship (with India), but I think it hit rock bottom with this", Dosanjh said in an interview Thursday. Atwal was seen standing next to Trudeau's wife in a photograph taken at the Mumbai event.

Jaspal Atwal, convicted of attempted murder, had already joined Trudeau and his retinue at a reception in India.

Canada is home to roughly half a million Sikhs and Trudeau's administration has been accused of being too cosy with those agitating for a separate homeland in India's northern Punjab state.

Giving the example of the major Canadian city of Toronto, he said "50 per cent of its population are born outside Canada".

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