Yes mate, he is a dick.
Justin Trudeau criticised on India visit
Justin Trudeau’s ill-fated trip to India has stumbled from bad to worse. The Canadian Prime Minister has been accused of fraternising with terrorists after his wife was photographed with a man convicted of shooting an Indian minister.
Mr Trudeau has been snubbed by Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister, who almost a week after the Canadian’s arrival has still yet to meet his counterpart.
Mr Trudeau has also been mocked for the extravagant wardrobe of traditional Indian clothes that he and his family have brought with them.
The Canadian delegation is scrambling to limit the fallout from the latest debacle, when Indian hardliners were outraged by pictures of Sophie Trudeau alongside Jaspal Atwal, a notorious activist, at a function in Mumbai.
Mr Atwal, a Sikh separatist with Canadian citizenship, was convicted of the attempted murder of an Indian cabinet minister in 1986. He was part of a gang that opened fire on a car carrying Malkiat Singh Sidhu, who was visiting family in Vancouver, against the background of a violent campaign for Khalistan, an independent Sikh state, to be carved out of Punjab in northwest India. India has long complained that Canada shelters Khalistani separatists.
An invitation for Mr Atwal to attend a reception for the Trudeaus at the Canadian high commission in Delhi was hastily rescinded, but the damage had been done. Sections of the local press and hardliners on social media denounced Mr Trudeau as being soft on terrorism.
“The Canadians say that they do not support pro-Khalistan groups, so how did they allow him?” asked Subramanian Swamy, an MP with Mr Modi’s ruling party.
The gaffe has compounded the sense of unease surrounding the trip, which has been compared to the Queen’s visit in 1997 when the royal party travelled to Pakistan first and the Duke of Edinburgh was reported to have dismissed Indian estimates of the death toll at the 1919 Amritsar massacre as “exaggerated”.
Mr Trudeau has been criticised for the lavish wardrobe of traditional Indian clothes he and his family have worn.
The Prime Minister dressed more extravagantly than Bollywood A-listers at a function in Mumbai and wore a turban during a visit to the Golden Temple in Amritsar, prompting critics to say that he should spend more time on foreign policy and less on fancy dress.
Mr Trudeau has previously boasted that he has more Sikh ministers than Mr Modi and much of his trip has appeared designed to court the votes of Canada’s Sikh community rather than rebuild bridges with Delhi.
Mr Modi is also alert to his domestic audience. After negotiations before Mr Trudeau’s arrival last Friday failed to secure a statement backing Indian unity, by implication withdrawing support for Khalistan, a junior minister was sent to meet the Canadians at the airport.
Mr Trudeau will meet Mr Modi at last today, with all eyes on the joint communique and body language between the two men. Mr Modi is renowned for the bear hugs he gives to favoured foreign leaders. Anything less than a warm embrace for Mr Trudeau will cement the impression of a relationship in trouble.
“This trip has gone from bad to worse so all eyes will be on the joint statement and the meeting between the two men,” Shivam Vij, a local journalist and commentator, said. “Both sides are playing to their domestic audience. Trudeau’s wardrobe is intended to show the Indian community in Canada that he is celebrating Indian culture, but here it has looked a bit ridiculous.”