Five Things to Know about the Controversy around Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan

By Levitz, Stephanie | The Canadian Press, May 2, 2017 | Go to article overview

Five Things to Know about the Controversy around Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan


Levitz, Stephanie, The Canadian Press


Five things about the Sajjan controversy

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OTTAWA - Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan was again defending himself in the Commons on Tuesday, repeating his apology for claiming to have been the architect of Operation Medusa, a major Canadian-led military offensive in Afghanistan in September 2006.

Here are five things to know about his role and the battle itself.

1) Sajjan, who joined the reserves in 1989, deployed to Afghanistan in 2006. In a book about the war, Canadian military historian Sean Maloney says Sajjan was brought to Kandahar by Brig.-Gen David Fraser, who wanted to draw upon Sajjan's experience in the Vancouver police gangs unit. Sajjan was to be a liaison officer with the Afghan security forces.

2) Maloney wrote that Sajjan was instrumental in gathering badly needed intelligence at a critical time that saw Canadian Forces take over control of Kandahar. Sajjan worked with his Afghan security contacts and the Afghan government to develop a better understanding of the forces at play and the connections between them. Of key concern was the fact the Taliban had begun to surge in strength in the key region of Kandahar know as the Panjwai.

3) Sajjan's efforts brought him recognition. His work was acknowledged in what's known as a "mention in dispatches" in the military. …

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