Thursday , 29 February 2024
Thursday , 29 February 2024

A ‘Plot’ Bogey

  • 26 Nov, 2023

The Financial Times reports President Biden raised concerns with India on plot to kill terrorist Pannun

The Rising Panjab Bureau

With India already having an all-time low in its relations with Canada due to the allegation by Prime Minister Justine Trudeau linking India with the killing of an Indo-Canadian Sikh terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June this year, the report carried out by the Financial Times (FT) suggesting that India’s plot to kill the Sikh extremist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun of the Sikhs for Justice would not have come at a worse time.  Pannun, a person of Indian origin, holds dual citizenship of Canada-US.  Even though the allegation prima facie seems a ploy to malign India’s image, it may also be aimed at pre-empting India’s attempts to raise with the US its concern on the anti-India activities by some Sikh extremists including Pannun in the US. As per the FT report, US President Joe Biden raised concerns of New Delhi involvement with India’s Narendra Modi in September.  Interestingly, it was in September only when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had also alleged India of being behind the killing of Nijjar in Canada.  Assuming the report correct, raising similar concerns by the US and Canada at the same time cannot be a mere coincidence.  Were the two countries complementing each other to corner India for reasons best known to them since the US had been backing Canada on Nijjar’s murder demanding India to cooperate with Canada in the investigation?

The claim that the “the people familiar with the case, who requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the intelligence that prompted the warning, did not say whether the protest to New Delhi led the plotters to abandon their plan, or whether the FBI intervened and foiled a scheme already in motion”, does not substantiate the allegation against India since there is no proof of any arrest or detention so far of any suspect by the US authorities.  Reacting to some journalists’ query on the report, the Spokesperson of India’s Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi said that Washington had shared "some inputs" that were being "examined by relevant departments".  Bagchi said the inputs pertained to the "nexus between organised criminals, gun runners, terrorists and others".

The spokesman also said, “India takes such inputs seriously since it impinges on our own national security interests as well and that the US inputs are already being examined by relevant departments”.  It is however interesting to note the FT has carried the news within days the India’s anti-terror agency NIA filed a case against Pannun after he warned passengers against flying by the Air India airline in video messages that have been doing rounds on social media.  

Pannun is also the main architect of the so-called “referendum” demanding a separate homeland in India for Sikhs.  Anti-India activities by pro-Khalistan elements being carried out from the soil of several countries including the US, the UK, Canada and Australia has been a matter of grave concern to India’s security.  There are enough proofs even in the public domain that terror-accused, extremists, drug traders, gangsters etc sheltered by these countries have been brazenly carrying out their anti-India activities from their soil.  Concerns raised by India with the said countries have barely received any positive response from these countries.  The fact is that none of them have extended even the basic minimum cooperation to India in dealing with the anti-India elements who have been day in and day out threatening India and the Indian Diaspora, particularly Hindus, in those countries.  The situation has come to such a pass that Indians have themselves begun raising doubts on the intention and competence of their own government for being lackadaisical in its approach against terrorism.  

The countries that have been making wild and unsubstantiated allegations against India while keeping silence when it comes to cooperating with India to deal with the terrorism speaks high of their double standards and presents a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black.  Blatant display of such an insensitive attitude by a country should worry the world.

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