Canadian official tells media: “Atwal poses no security risk and no longer has any known ties to extremist causes.”
ON Friday, a Canadian official told the Canadian media in New Delhi in a briefing arranged by the Prime Minister’s Office that “Atwal poses no security risk and no longer has any known ties to extremist causes. His invitation was withdrawn, however, because of the diplomatic nightmare it posed to Trudeau, who has spent much of this trip trying to assure the Indian government that Canada does not support Sikh separatism and will do whatever it can to rout out extremist elements if there is any evidence they exist,” according to a Canadian Press report.
Interestingly, the CP story also said: “Many incorrect facts were fed to various media outlets to push the story, the official said.”
The incorrect or distorted facts were fed by Atwal’s rivals and enemies in the South Asian community who grabbed at this opportunity to try and embarrass and harm him. The sensational reports by mainstream media in Canada (that were then picked up the Indian media without proper verification) is a black mark against them (as US President Donald Trump would say: “fake media”!) Many kept calling Atwal a “Khalistani terrorist” instead of a “FORMER Khalistani terrorist” and omitted the fact that he’s actually been anti-Khalistan for a long time now.
Earlier story on Thursday:
IN spite of all the controversy about Surrey’s Radio Media Waves personality Jaspal Atwal posing with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, and federal minister Amarjeet Sohi at a function in Mumbai during the Trudeaus’ current visit to India, the Indian government has made it clear that Atwal no longer figures on the Home Ministry’s blacklist of Sikh extremists.
Atwal alleged that as a young, vulnerable man in the 1980s, he had been misled by “Khalistanis” to carry out the attack on visiting Punjabi cabinet minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu on Vancouver Island in 1986. Atwal was convicted for the shooting. At the time, he was a member of the International Sikh Youth Federation.
Since then, Atwal said he had actually been talking against “Khalistanis” on the radio. He alleged that they were now trying to malign him, but he had nothing to fear because he was not involved in any way in any separatist movement. In fact, he opposed them vehemently.
He said he was not afraid of all the propaganda that his enemies had launched against him, using the mainstream media. They didn’t realize that he had been cleared by the Indian government.
The Indian news agency, PTI, reports: “The central government time-to-time reviews the blacklist of the Sikh extremists taking into account intelligence inputs and activities of the persons concerned, a home ministry official said.
“Names of nearly 150 wanted terrorists and their associates were removed from the blacklist in the last few years, the official said.
“”Atwal’s name no longer figures in the current blacklist,” the official said.
“The review of the blacklist is always done in consultation with the Punjab government and central security agencies.
“Most of the persons whose names have been deleted from the wanted list are believed to be currently based in countries like Pakistan, the US, Canada, Norway, France and Germany.”
The PTI report was carried by all major newspapers in India.