Justin Trudeau’s interactions with India have indeed been marked by a series of diplomatic missteps and setbacks. The recent G20 Summit in New Delhi seems to have continued this pattern. Not only was Trudeau seemingly ignored by Indian and global leaders, but his trip also took an unexpected turn when his aircraft encountered technical issues, leading to an unplanned stay in India.
Trudeau at G20
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s visit to India for the G20 Summit, hosted under India’s presidency, drew attention due to his non-committal stance on pro-Khalistan activists in Canada. Upon arrival, he was received by Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar, and the summit concluded successfully on Sunday.
During the event, Trudeau engaged in discussions with PM Narendra Modi on various aspects of India-Canada relations, including the sensitive Khalistan issue. Trudeau’s response to questions regarding Khalistan highlighted the complexity of the matter. He emphasized that the actions of a few should not represent the entire community or Canada. Canada’s administration has often cited freedom of expression and peaceful protest to defend anti-India activities within the country, contributing to the tension surrounding this issue.
Trudeau left stranded in India
PM Justin Trudeau and his delegation faced an unexpected extension of their stay in New Delhi after the G20 Summit due to a mechanical fault in their aircraft. Trudeau was scheduled to return home after paying respects at Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial, but the aircraft’s technical difficulties kept him in India for two additional days. The Canadian Air Force, responsible for the aircraft, reported the issue, resulting in the unexpected delay.
This incident has raised concerns about the state of Canada’s infrastructure, particularly the aging Airbus A310s used for official travel. These aircraft, dating back to the 1980s, are exhibiting signs of wear and tear, requiring refueling stops during international trips. The need for stopovers in places like Alaska and Japan on Trudeau’s journeys to Asia highlights the aircraft’s outdated condition.
Trudeau’s humiliation at G20
Trudeau’s recent experiences in India, particularly during the G20 Summit in New Delhi, have raised questions about his diplomatic standing. His visit was marked by a lack of customary welcoming messages from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on social media and minimal media coverage. Instead of being greeted by a Cabinet minister, Trudeau was received by a Minister of State upon his arrival.
Trudeau’s visit had objectives related to addressing concerns about foreign interference, particularly the case of a Khalistan activist’s death, and raising the issue of Ukraine at the G20 Summit.
However, it seems he did not receive the expected attention from Indian officials. His interactions during the summit were eclipsed by other world leaders who had bilateral meetings with PM Modi. Trudeau’s sole meeting with Modi occurred on the sidelines of the summit, a departure from standard protocol, during which Modi criticized Trudeau for alleged support of anti-India and extremist elements.
JT’s 2018 trip too was a diplomatic fiasco
Trudeau’s visits to India have been marred by diplomatic challenges, with his first trip in 2018 becoming a notable diplomatic disaster. The journey started on an underwhelming note as Trudeau’s delegation was received by a minister of state rather than a member of PM Narendra Modi’s cabinet, signaling a disappointing beginning. Speculations of a snub emerged, fueled by alleged ties between Trudeau and separatists and extremists, straining relations right from the outset.
One of the most controversial aspects of Trudeau’s 2018 visit was the presence of Sikh extremist Jaspal Atwal. Atwal, who had been convicted of attempted murder and had links to a terrorist group, was invited to a dinner honoring Trudeau in Delhi, arranged by the Canadian high commissioner. This move tarnished the credibility of the visit and raised questions about the screening process for attendees.
The controversy deepened with inconsistent explanations regarding Atwal’s invitation. Photos surfaced of Atwal with Trudeau at a 2015 campaign event and even before Trudeau became the leader of the Liberal Party. Trudeau’s continued association with Atwal, a former Liberal supporter, activist, and board member, raised serious concerns.
Trudeau’s visit also faced criticism for its limited official business, excessive photo opportunities, and the perception that it resembled a lavish family vacation rather than a diplomatic meeting. Moreover, his statements on farmer protests strained India-Canada ties, leaving diplomatic relations in a precarious state.
These incidents from his visit highlight the diplomatic challenges and strained relations that Trudeau has faced during his trips to India.