The ruling Liberal Party in Canada has successfully managed to thwart the Opposition’s attempt to have security officials testify on the Jaspal Atwal controversy. Conservative Quebec Senator, Jean Guy Dagenais, introduced a motion to have National Security Adviser Daniel Jean explain before the national security and defence committee how Atwal made it to the invite list.
Justin Trudeau has been in hot waters recently after he lent credence to the conspiracy theory that Indian officials were to be blamed for the invite to a convicted terrorist. Responding to a question by a Conservative leader on the allegations made by a top security adviser, Trudeau had said, “When one of our top diplomats and security officials says something to Canadians it’s because they know it to be true.”
The Indian government has strongly criticized the allegations labelled against it by their Canadian counterparts. Official spokesperson for the Indian Foreign Ministry, Raveesh Kumar, said, “Let me categorically state that the government of India, including the security agencies, had nothing to do with the presence of Jaspal Atwal at the event hosted by the Canadian high commissioner in Mumbai or the invitation issued to him for the Canadian high commissioner’s reception in New Delhi. Any suggestion to the contrary is baseless and unacceptable.”
Justin Trudeau’s diplomatic visit to India, which was already a train wreck by then, hit a further low when it was revealed that Jaspal Atwal, a Khalistani terrorist, who was convicted in an attempt to assassinate an Indian Minister received an invitation to an official dinner during the visit. Ties between the two countries have been in turmoil recently over India’s concern with the rise of Khalistani forces in Canada. Although Justin Trudeau assured that Canada believes in a united India, the invitation to Atwal caused further damage to the already strained ties.