Chickens coming home

The thwarted plot kill a Khalistan activist in the USA shows the cost of trusting India

The FBI’s foiling an Indian plot to assassinate Gurpatwant Singh Punnun may have caused it some jubilation for they had saved Punnun, the General Council of the pro-Khalistan Sikhs For Justice,\, from being killed. They had shown themselves as betyter than their Canadian counterparts, who were unable to prevent the murder of Sikh activist Gurdeep Singh Nijjar in Vancouver in June. This led to the matter being raised by Canadian PM Justin Trudeau at the G20 Summit in New Delhi with Indian PM Narendra Modi in their sideline meeting. It has now been learnt that US President Joe Biden also brought up the attempt on Mr Punnun at the same summit, during his sideline meeting.

The USA should have learnt that the special treatment it was giving India was being repaid with an implicit demand for immunity from the normal rules of inter-state behaviour, which precludes the assassination of its citizens on its own soil. It should not escape notice that India has apparently interpreted the USA’s growing closeness with India as a kind of blanket permission to go after the Khalistan supporters who have taken refuge abroad, and have engaged in advocacy there. India is taking membership of BRICS a little too seriously, and made assumptions about its own status, failing to note that none of the other BRICS countries have tried assassinations on US soil. India is also taking the Khalistan Movement seriously enough to risk its relationship with the USA. The operatives in the USA appear singularly ham-handed; not only did their target escape, but they were themselves detected.

Pakistan has got to be very careful, because both Punnun and Najjar were accused of having come to Pakistan for training. Also, Indians, especially from Indian-Held Kashmir, who have taken refuge in Pakistan, may also be targeted. Any Indian attempt to somehow claim Pakistan was involved, must be vigorously repelled, especially in those Western capitals where their currying favour with such unreasonable and immature elements has brought the violent and bullying behaviour to their own doorsteps. The USA hasonly itself to blame for the situation, for it has established the precedent of accepting a favourite’s bad behaviour with Israel, when it accepted Israeli spying on it (the most prominent being the Jonathan Pollard case in 1985). Its blind support of Israel will also have led India to think it can get away with murder, literally.

The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected].


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