India Canada Relation: Following the alleged failure of a plot to assassinate him, terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a Khalistani, declared in a video that he would attack the Indian Parliament on or before December 13. Interestingly, December 13th will be the 22nd anniversary of the terrorist attack on Parliament in 2001.
Failed Assassination Attempt
Pannun claimed an attempt by Indian agencies to assassinate him had failed in the video, which featured a poster of the 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru with the caption ‘Delhi Banega Khalistan’ (Delhi will turn into Khalistan). By December 13 at the latest, he said, he will respond by taking aim at the Parliament. Pannun’s threat was made during the Winter Session of Parliament, which got underway on Monday. The meeting will continue through December 22.
Following the release of Pannun’s threat video, security services are on high alert. Security agencies claimed that Pannun had received instructions from Pakistan‘s intelligence agency, ISI, to promote the anti-India narrative through the K-2 (Kashmir-Khalistan) desk. A plot to kill Pannun was thwarted by US authorities last month, according to The Financial Times, which cited anonymous sources. The Indian government was also warned that it might have been involved in the plot. Pannun, the leader of the US-based Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) organisation, is wanted by Indian investigative agencies and is not allowed in India.
The United States Department of State spokesperson, Matthew Miller, stated on Tuesday that the allegations of an Indian official being involved in a plot to kill Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil are something his country is taking “very seriously.” “We oppose transnational oppression no matter where it occurs, or who might be conducting it… it’s not specific to India,” Miller said, during a press briefing.
Miller Highlights Ongoing Probe
Miller also emphasised that India has begun its investigation and that the US will watch for the findings. “With respect to this specific case, there is an ongoing investigation and we don’t talk about those in this podium, I would defer to the DOJ (US Department of Justice) to do that. But I would say that when this alleged incident was brought to our attention, we made very clear at the most senior levels of the Indian government… how seriously we treat something like this.”
Miller Reiterates the Gravity of the Situation
“They told us they would conduct an investigation. They have publicly announced an investigation and now we’ll wait to see the results of the investigation. It’s something we take very seriously,” he added. Miller also addressed a query regarding the Canadian inquiry into the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a different terrorist from Khalistani.
Miller Stresses the Importance of Investigation Completion
When questioned about his belief regarding the Indian government’s collaboration with the US Department of Justice, Miller responded as follows: “We have urged them to cooperate with the Canadian investigation. With respect to their own investigations, not the DOJ investigation, they have said that they will conduct it. We are looking forward to seeing the results of that investigation, and I’m not going to make any assessments, obviously, before the investigation itself is completed.”