India will formally investigate security concerns raised by the United States in a warning to New Delhi about its links to a failed plot to kill a Sikh separatist leader, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday.
The issue comes at a sensitive time for both India and the Biden administration as they seek to build closer ties in the face of a rising China seen as a threat to both democracies.
Just a week before the State Department’s statement, the White House confirmed that it had warned New Delhi of its involvement in a foiled plot to kill a Sikh separatist leader, Gurpatwad Singh Panun.
“India takes these inflows seriously as they also affect our national security interests,” the ministry said, pledging to “take necessary follow-up measures” on the findings of the panel set up on November 18.
The Financial Times newspaper on November 22 first reported the aborted plot against Pannun in the United States.
The White House said it was treating the matter with the “utmost seriousness” and raised it with India at the “highest levels”.
The foiled plot and US concerns were raised two months after Canada said it was looking into credible allegations linking Indian agents to the June killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, another Sikh separatist, in a Vancouver suburb.
New Delhi strongly rejected Ottawa’s accusations and said it has yet to provide any “specific or relevant” information for India to consider.
Also Read: US foils plot to kill Sikh separatist, warns India – FT
The US had started raising its concerns and details with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government as early as April, said an Indian official familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak to the media. Reuters.
The official said the issue was also discussed on November 10, when Foreign Secretary Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met their counterparts in the Indian capital for the so-called 2+2 dialogue.
These talks focused on defense cooperation and security concerns in the Indo-Pacific region.
Like the slain Canadian, Pannun, the target of the foiled US plot, is a supporter of a decades-old demand for an independent Sikh homeland from India called Khalistan that sparked a violent insurgency in the 1970s and 1980s.
Although now relegated to the sidelines of politics, the request is still viewed with concern by New Delhi.
Over the weekend Sanjay Verma, India’s high commissioner or ambassador to Canada, told Canadian broadcaster CTV that New Delhi was cooperating with the US as they had shared “legally visible” information.
Speaking about what he described as his “belief” about the Indian connection, Verma said: “I don’t mean the Government of India connections, there are 1.4 billion people, so some of the Indian connections are there,” as the New Delhi I am researching.
Ottawa has not yet released details about its charge, he added. “All we’re asking is, ‘Give us something concrete and relevant to move forward.’ If there is no such thing, what shall I follow?’
a href=”https://tribune.com.pk/story/2448392/india-to-probe-us-concerns-linking-it-to-foiled-murder-plot”>Source link