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Canadian defence minister visits native village in northern India

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Published: 10:28 GMT, Apr 21, 2017 |
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Canadian defence minister Harjit Singh Sajjan, who was born in India, on Thursday (April 20) visited his native village in northern state of Punjab and interacted with his relatives.

Dressed in white shirt and grey trousers, Sajjan received a grand welcome when he reached his native Bambeli village in Hoshiarpur district. A group performed traditional dance on folk music to welcome him even as Sajjan’s vehicle was awashed with flower petals thrown by people and admirers.

The Canadian defence minister visited a local Sikh temple and paid his respects. He was also presented a holy robe. Later, he met his relatives.

Many people were left high and dry, as they couldn’t meet the visiting dignitary due to huge crowd and security concerns. Sajjan arrived in India on Monday (April 17) on a six-day visit, his first after assuming charge as Canada’s minister of national defence.  Sajjan is also expected to travel to Mumbai to meet several business and industry leaders.

Canada has over 1.2 million Persons of Indian Origin (PIO), comprising more than 3 percent of Canada’s population, according to official data. Over the years, an array of institutional mechanisms has been put in place to promote bilateral cooperation.