Letter sent to The Editor, Toronto Star, in response to the column by Haroon Siddiqui in the Toronto Star on October 13, 2012
Re: Prime Minister Harper’s foreign policy hobbled by ideology – October 13, 2012
It is unfortunate that Mr. Siddiqui chose to drag the Canada India Foundation (CIF) into his harangue about Prime Minister Harper, and by extension his pet bete-noires. If he had really wanted to recognize CIF, he could have referred to the three Canada-India public policy forums it has organized (Energy, Mining and most recently Agriculture and Food Processing) that push for greater trade between Canada and India under a policy-driven framework. He could have written about the CIF-Chanchlani Award which annually recognizes an individual who demonstrates global leadership, vision and professional excellence, which has made people of Indian origin around the globe proud of their heritage and which has been awarded to Sam Pitroda, Tulsi Tanti, Ratan Tata and Deepak Chopra. Or he could have referred to CIF's involvement in organizing three visits in the past 5 years to Canada by the former President of India, Dr. Abdul Kalam. He may even be interested to know that CIF had written in support of the request by Emirates Airlines for increased landing rights in Canada, on the basis that this would boost travel between Canada and India, for which the Middle East is a significant transit point. Instead, Mr.Siddiqui, sees fit only to denigrate CIF’s good name and works.
As far as Canada's interaction with Mr. Modi is concerned, it is far more likely to be determined by actual developments such as the recent decision by the U.K. government to terminate a decade long policy of no-contact with Mr. Modi, the impending elections in Gujarat, and the not-too-far-away national elections in India, not to mention Canada's own continuous engagement with Gujarat, through participation in events like Vibrant Gujarat, and evidenced by showcase Canadian business initiatives in Gujarat like McCain and Bombardier.
Canada India Foundation (www.canadaindia.org) is a national, non-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental organization (NGO) established in 2007 to foster support for stronger bi-lateral relations between Canada and India; to educate Canadians on India; and to increase the participation by Indo-Canadians in political process in Canada. Religious or ideological considerations do not play a role in CIF's initiatives. CIF's founding members include industrialists, senior Canadian business executives and top tier professionals
Barj Dhahan, Chair, CIF
Deepak Ruparell Co-Chair, CIF
Rahul Shastri, National Convenor, CIF
Kalyan Sundaram, Executive Director, CIF