Expectations are low ahead of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's meeting with his host and counterpart Narendra Modi on Friday, though both sides indicated on Thursday that they are looking at a fresh start to India-Canada ties marred by a spate of recent controversies. The prime minister's office apparently had no knowledge of Atwal's past and did not rescind the invitation to dinner until notified by CBC News of the former terrorist's infamy. "The member of Parliament who included this individual has and will assume full responsibility for his actions".
Over the course of his visit, the Canadian PM has been dogged by speculation that he has been snubbed by PM Modi, who was notably absent since Trudeau touched down in India on Saturday evening.
The visiting leader said India and Canada must "deepen and broaden" its historic friendship and "that is what this week has been all about".
The minister was hit twice but survived the attack.
However, Atwal didn't plan to attend the dinner and claimed to have travelled to India on his own.
Offering lessons in parenting, gender equality and self-sufficiency, particularly in the kitchen, Canada's first lady Sophie Gregoire Trudeau on Thursday said her children, the eldest nine and the youngest four, can cook a "basic meal". Atwal was formerly part of the International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF), which seeks to establish Khalistan, an independent Sikh state in the Punjab region.
"Even if he was on a black list at some point of time, there have been instances when names have been removed in the past on the recommendation of the Punjab government".
"I don't know if Justin Trudeau thinks that worldwide trade missions are reality TV shows, but they are not", Conservative party leader Andrew Scheer, Trudeau's main opponent, told Reuters.
Gerolymatos says it's clear Atwal was not properly vetted, and believes this points to serious gaps in Trudeau's security detail.
The cold and silent treatment is widely seen as punishment for the Trudeau government's perceived support for separatists among the Canadian Sikh population. "We do not comment of matters relating to the PM's security", the Canadian mission said in a statement.
Let's play smart and leverage India's huge market, growing worldwide status and people-to-people ties between India and Canada to get Ottawa to see things our way.
On his part, Trudeau had assured Singh that his country does not support separatism in India or elsewhere. Here is a picture from my 2015 Canada visit, when I'd met PM Trudeau and Ella-Grace.
Noting the lack of a welcome from PM Modi, Toronto Sun columnist Candice Malcolm tweeted: "On official state visits to India, PM Modi personally greets and welcomes the Israeli PM, UAE Crown Prince and US President".