New Delhi – External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has informed the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament, that the central government has established a committee to investigate inputs received from the United States regarding an alleged plot to kill Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil.
Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, an American and Canadian citizen, is a leader of the US-based Sikhs for Justice, an organization that India has designated as a terrorist outfit.
In response to a question from a Rajya Sabha member, Jaishankar stated that there would be no equitable treatment given to Canada’s allegations of potential involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, as no specific evidence or inputs were provided to India by Ottawa.
Speaking in Parliament, Jaishankar explained, “Regarding the US, certain inputs were given to us as part of our security cooperation with the United States. Those inputs were of concern to us because they were related to the nexus of organized crime, trafficking, and other matters.”
Nijjar was killed in Canada’s British Columbia province in June of this year.
“Because they have a bearing on our own national security, it was decided to institute an inquiry into the matter, and an inquiry committee has been constituted,” he added.
When asked why there was no equitable treatment regarding the charges made by the Canadian government, Jaishankar responded, “In the case of Canada, no specific evidence or inputs were provided to us. So the question of equitable treatment between two countries, one of whom has provided input and one of whom has not, does not arise.”
It is worth noting that the US Department of Justice has filed charges against an Indian man named Nikhil Gupta for allegedly working with an Indian government employee in the foiled plot to kill Pannun.
In September, shortly after the G20 Summit, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made an explosive allegation regarding the “potential” involvement of Indian agents in Nijjar’s killing on Canadian soil on June 18. However, India has strongly rejected these allegations.
Meanwhile, in a press briefing, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi declined to comment on whether this issue would be raised during the upcoming visit of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray to India.
When asked about updates on India’s investigation into Washington’s allegations in the foiled plot case, Bagchi stated that he did not have any information to share.
He also mentioned that India has raised with the US and Canada the recent threats made against India by Pannun.