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  Opinion   Edit  30 Apr 2024  AA Edit | Clear up Pannun row swiftly

AA Edit | Clear up Pannun row swiftly

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : May 1, 2024, 12:05 am IST
Updated : May 1, 2024, 12:05 am IST

Outrage Over US Newspaper Report Diverts Attention from Urgent Need for Transparency and Cooperation

Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun is pictured in his office on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, in New York. U.S. authorities said an Indian government official directed a plot to assassinate Pannun in New York City after he advocated for a sovereign state for Sikhs. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)
 Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun is pictured in his office on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, in New York. U.S. authorities said an Indian government official directed a plot to assassinate Pannun in New York City after he advocated for a sovereign state for Sikhs. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

India has vented its ire at an American newspaper out of Washington for publishing a report linking retired RAW officials to an alleged assassination plot against the Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in New York. India’s anger amounts to taking it out on the messenger rather than reading the message and responding to it in an open and transparent manner at least with the US government with which India has built very strong strategic ties.

Strenuous as objections are to being linked to the murder of a Sikh leader in Canada and to the plot to kill Pannun, dual citizen of Canada and the US, it might do better to have the high-level committee probing the issue of possible extraterritorial killings for over five months since November 2023 finish its review quickly and share its findings with allies to clear the country’s name.

The Indian people would like to believe that their government, unlike many others in the world including the US that have been thought to be guilty of getting rid of unwanted personalities in secret service ops or by outsourcing such murders to hit squads, does not support such a policy or practice of carrying out killings in clandestine operations.

The US has been open about seeking accountability from India on the Pannun case. And in view of the vigorous diplomacy that has brought the two countries closer than ever before in history, it is India’s duty to come clean and share all findings and facts in the Gurpatwant plot in the US and the Hardeep Singh Nijjar killing in Canada.

India has also taken strong exception to the Canadian Prime Minister playing up to Sikh separatist sentiments by encouraging elements dreaming of a homeland on Indian soil to the extent that slogans favouring Khalistan were aired at a meeting that Justin Trudeau addressed and spoke of supporting the Sikhs.

It is known that Mr Trudeau has been persistently baiting India for his political survival while encouraging known separatists wishing to disrupt the Indian state. It is India’s right to protest such parochial behaviour of an elected head of state, but the foreign office would do well to remember that an embattled Canadian PM is hardly worth venting spleen on.

 

Tags: aa edit, gurpatwant singh pannun, us india ties