Assassins Abroad Reflect A More Assertive India


(MENAFN- Asia Times) A recent indictment from the United States Department of Justice has alleged an Indian security official was involved in attempting to assassinate a citizen of the US and Canada in New York.

The alleged target, Gurpatwant Singh Pan nun , is a leader in the Sikh separatist movement and has been involved in organizing referendums for the establishment of Khalistan , a proposed independent Sikh state in northern India.

The indictment also states that there is a link between the foiled attempt to kill Pannun and the murder of Canadian Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, British Columbia, earlier this year.

The Indian government said it was investigating the allegations, and had established a committee to“address the security concerns highlighted by the US government .”

This announcement by the US could have potential ramifications for Indian politics, both at home and abroad. However, it is unlikely to have any significant impact on next year's general elections, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be seeking his third term in office.

Bolstering Modi's strongman image

Canadian allegations against India had handed Modi an excellent political platform for the next general elections.

It sent a clear message that India's government would, under no circumstances, tolerate any threats to the country.

India's foreign policy has become more muscular under Modi; and that's a strategy that resonates with his supporters.

His landslide victory in 2019 had a lot to do with support for India's“surgical strikes” in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir in 2016 in response to an attack that killed 19 Indian soldiers.

Following Canada's allegations of Indian involvement in Nijjar's killing, the Modi government was once again able to successfully generate a narrative against Canada in general and the Liberal party in particular.

India's narrative consists of four parts:

  • Canada is a safe haven for terrorists, extremism and organized crime , and there is a nexus between Indo-Canadian gangsters and Sikh separatists working with Pakistan's intelligence agency.
  • The Canadian government has consistently ignored repeated requests from India to take actions against Khalistani“terrorists” operating on Canadian soil.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government is pandering to the large Sikh diaspora in Canada.
  • The Liberal minority government is dependent on support from the New Democratic Party leader, Jagmeet Singh, a Sikh supposedly sympathetic to the Khalistani cause.

Indian news media and politicians have repeated the official discourse constantly for weeks.

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