Trudeau’s India Visit: Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, faced yet another setback on his journey to India when his airplane broke down. Awaiting the arrival of spare parts and a backup plane, the earliest Trudeau might leave New Delhi is late Tuesday afternoon, as confirmed by Canada.
While technical hitches added to Trudeau’s woes, the trip also put a spotlight on political tensions. During the visit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concerns about the “anti-India activities” in Canada, a pointed reference to the pro-Khalistan movements. This comes amidst deteriorating ties between both nations, underscored by Ottawa suspending trade treaty negotiations with New Delhi.
Further complicating the relationship, pro-Khalistan supporter Hardeep Singh Nijjar was assassinated in Canada, leading Khalistan advocates to protest against the Indian government, suspecting their involvement. While Trudeau emphasizes freedom of expression and peaceful protests, he acknowledges that the actions of a few don’t represent the entirety of Canada or its Sikh community.
In Canada, Trudeau’s delayed travels sparked debates on the deteriorating state of Canadian infrastructure. The Airbus A310s, dating back to the 1980s, have become emblematic of Canada’s aging resources. The aircraft’s age necessitates multiple refuelling stops, particularly for Asian routes. Trudeau’s political rivals, particularly Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre, took this opportunity to criticize the Prime Minister’s handling of national infrastructure.
In a throwback to 2018, Trudeau’s first official visit to India was marked by a lack of warmth from the Indian government. Despite the PR-friendly photo ops, Trudeau’s family tour went largely unnoticed by Indian officials. Trudeau’s arrival was marked by a lukewarm welcome, with Modi meeting him days later.
During the current debacle, Trudeau and his son Xavier chose to stay in their New Delhi hotel room, with no formal engagements scheduled with the Indian government. Although the exact issues with the aircraft remain undisclosed, Trudeau’s troubles on this trip reflect both logistical and political challenges, marking a tumultuous visit to India.