Is India a Rogue State?

Nijjar’s killing was part of a pattern

The term rogue state is used to describe a country that is perceived as acting in a way that is contrary to international norms and established rules of behaviour. Typically, a rogue state is accused of engaging in actions or policies that are seen as destabilizing, threatening, or aggressive, both domestically and internationally. As Realists say, survival is the primary objective of any state. At the same time there are a few states, which have been working to expand their nationalistic approach to accomplish politically motivated goals.

India is one of the countries, working to interfere in other countries’ domestic affairs by indulging in illegitimate activities. We have seen many precedents where Indian paid agents have been caught, involved in illegal activities in other countries. This is not the first time. There is a long list of Indian illegitimate actions across the world, not only in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

These incidents often result in casualties and displacement, raising human rights concerns. Likewise, global human rights watchdogs have been raising concerns about the freedom of expression in India, including restrictions on the media and cases of journalists facing threats and attacks

The Indian security establishment has been actively working with intelligence agencies in order to accomplish its security-driven objectives. The Canadian government’s allegations have proved that India is involved in extrajudicial killings abroad, while challenging the sovereignty of other states.

Likewise, Pakistan has been facing similar Indian illegitimate actions. Islamabad has apprised the world many times regarding Indian involvement in terrorism and extremism in the country. It repeatedly urged the international community to take stringent actions and keep check on Indian activities, which are jeopardizing regional as well as global peace.

For example, Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian national, was arrested by Pakistani authorities in March 2016. Pakistan claimed that Jadhav was a serving officer in the Indian Navy and alleged that he was involved in espionage and terrorist activities in Pakistan. The case of Kulbhushan Jadhav has been a source of significant tension between India and Pakistan, and it has been the subject of international legal proceedings.

Similarly, after the conclusion of the G20 summit in India, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau said that Canadian intelligence had credible allegations that Indian agents were involved in the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh separatist shot dead in a Vancouver suburb in June. So, the Indian activities are not a new thing for Pakistan. The killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is a matter of grave concern and an eye-opener for the international community. The USA, the UK and Australia have rightly described the killing as a serious issue. But it needs more.

On the other hand, few countries are viewing China through the prism of the economic market. India is also becoming one of the USA’s most important foreign partners as a bulwark against China. The USA has invested heavily in bolstering relations with New Delhi as part of its broader strategy of enhancing relationships in the Indo-Pacific region. The push has accelerated this year, with partnerships spanning areas from defence and high-tech manufacturing to artificial intelligence. US President Joe Biden granted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi the high diplomatic honour of a state dinner at the White House in June.

If the India-Canada imbroglio continues to escalate, then we could see western nations begin to choose sides, and it is likely to be Ottawa that wins, placing New Delhi’s partnerships with countries like the USA, Australia, and the UK in greater jeopardy. Ties with India were already frayed before this week’s bust-up. Trudeau had been a relative rarity among G20 leaders willing to openly criticize the Modi government’s policies, as he did during the 2020 protests in which farmers, many of them from Punjab, torpedoed the prime minister’s planned agricultural reforms.

This is high time for the international community not to ignore security and human rights threats, emanating from India. They should immediately stop viewing India through the prism of the economic market and raise their voices to press the Indian government to stop pursuing its Hindutva-driven objectives and hold the leaders involved in the extrajudicial killings and human rights violations, accountable.

India, like many countries around the world, has faced allegations of human rights violations and extra-judicial killings at various points in the recent past. The ongoing conflict in Indian-Occupied Kashmir has been a source of concern. Allegations of human rights violations, including arbitrary detentions, use of excessive force by security forces, and restrictions on civil liberties, have been made by various human rights organizations.

The Modi government’s response to the Naxalite insurgency, which has been active in several states, has also faced scrutiny. There have been reports of both state and Naxalite violence, leading to concerns about human rights abuses. Communal and ethnic violence, particularly between Hindus and Muslims, has also been a recurring issue.

These incidents often result in casualties and displacement, raising human rights concerns. Likewise, global human rights watchdogs have been raising concerns about the freedom of expression in India, including restrictions on the media and cases of journalists facing threats and attacks.

Asad Ali
Asad Ali
The writer is a freelance columnist

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