Canada min­is­ter urged to quit over mil­i­tary record boast

New Straits Times - - World -

OT­TAWA: Canada’s op­po­si­tion on Mon­day called for De­fence Min­is­ter Har­jit Sa­j­jan to re­sign or be sacked for over­stat­ing his mil­i­tary record in Afghanistan dur­ing a speech in In­dia.

Har­jit, a dec­o­rated for­mer mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer, claimed last month to have been the “ar­chi­tect” of Canada’s largest mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion since the 1950s, known as Op­er­a­tion Me­dusa.

The 2006 of­fen­sive de­liv­ered a blow to the Tal­iban, loos­en­ing its grip on Kan­da­har province, but at a cost — a dozen Cana­dian and 14 Bri­tish sol­diers died.

“It’s come to light that the de­fence min­is­ter has mis­led Cana­di­ans once again, and it’s a big one,” said Rona Am­brose, leader of the op­po­si­tion Tories.

“How can the prime min­is­ter al­low him to re­main as de­fence min­is­ter when he con­tin­u­ally mis­states the facts?”

It was a “whopper” of a lie to raise his own pro­file, said Tom Mul­cair, leader of the thir­dranked New Demo­cratic Party.

Har­jit apol­o­gised re­peat­edly in the House of Com­mons for the “stolen val­our” in­ci­dent, while Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau stood by his min­is­ter.

“The min­is­ter made a mis­take. He ac­knowl­edged it and apol­o­gised for it.

“That is what Cana­di­ans ex­pect,” said Trudeau.

“This min­is­ter has served his coun­try in many ca­pac­i­ties as a po­lice of­fi­cer, as a soldier and now as a min­is­ter. He has my full con­fi­dence.” AFP

Har­jit Sa­j­jan

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