“Not The Same”: S Jaishankar On India’s Response To US, Canada Probes

'Not The Same': S Jaishankar On India's Response To US, Canada Probes

With India facing allegations of hatching plots to murder pro-Khalistan elements in the United States and Canada, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday said “the two issues are not necessarily the same”, adding that India is a country where “we are very responsible, very prudent on what we do”.

“The point was when Americans brought up some issues and the two issues are not necessarily the same. When they brought up that issue, the Americans told us some specific things,” Mr Jaishankar told news agency ANI.

Sikh separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun – a dual citizen of the United States and Canada – was allegedly the target of the plot by India, alleged the US Department of Justice.

The US has filed “murder-for-hire” conspiracy charges against Indian national Nikhil Gupta. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years.

On November 18, the Government of India constituted a high-level enquiry committee to look into all the relevant aspects of the matter.

In September, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made allegations regarding a “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Nijjar, who was the chief of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force and one of India’s most-wanted terrorists, was killed in June.

Refuting the allegations as “politically motivated”, India said Canada should share evidence – a request Ottawa has so far declined.  

“What happens in international relations from time to time such challenges can arise. So, we very sincerely have told the Canadians saying that look it’s up to you, I mean your choice whether you would like us to pursue it, further look into it or not,” the Minister told the news agency.

Late last month, India’s High Commissioner to Canada, Sanjay Kumar Verma, also said that Indian government is cooperating with an American investigation into alleged thwarted assassination attempt and not Canada’s probe into the June killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia’s Surrey due to a disparity between the information.

Mr Verma said India was “absolutely” and “decidedly” not involved in the homicide, terming it a “motivated and absurd allegation.” The allegations caused diplomatic tensions between the two nations.

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