Punjab Chief Minister To Receive Justin Trudeau At Amritsar

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has raised the issue with Trudeau during their meetings.

He is also scheduled to meet with the prime minister and president in Delhi, but will not meet with an Indian politician who has publicly accused members of his cabinet of being connected to the Sikh separatist movement. The four are Harjit Singh Sajjan (defence), Navdeep Singh Bains (innovation, science and economic development), Amarjit Singh Sohi (infrastructure and communities) and Bardish Kaur Chagger (small business and tourism).

Trudeau is scheduled to meet February 23 with President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the presidential palace in Delhi. While Canada has growing ties with China it also supports India's position on the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, Canadian officials said.

Canada has initiated a dialogue with India on investigating cases against Sikh extremists and combating Sikh radicalism, an apparent attempt to dispel controversy over the Justin Trudeau government's alleged links with Sikh extremists. Indo-Canadian Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and Investment Protection Treaty will figure high on the agenda as Canadian investors are looking forward to the protection pact for enhancing quantum of investments. With 1.3 million Indian Canadians, the community is fast growing and influential both politically and economically in Canada; a successful trip would help Trudeau both at home and overseas.

However, the date of his visit to Amritsar has not been finalised yet, officials said.

"When Mr. Trudeau became prime minister in 2015, he shifted gears from the Conservatives' playbook on trade that was pragmatic and commercially driven", said Mumbai-born Dehejia in an interview.

Trade between Canada and India has doubled in the last 10 years to about eight-billion dollars in 2016, and preliminary free trade talks have been underway since 2010. "How Trudeau responds to questions about Sikhs in Canada could determine his political future", it said in a statement.

More than a dozen Indian Canadian MPs are expected to join Trudeau in India for some or all of the seven-day trip.

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