US Reassures Continued Strategic Partnership with India Amid Pannun Plot Concerns

US Reassures Continued Strategic Partnership with India Amid Pannun Plot Concerns

Washington - On Thursday (Nov 30), the United States commended India for acknowledging its 'very serious' concerns regarding an alleged plot to assassinate Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a Sikh leader labeled as a terrorist in India due to his advocacy for Sikh separatism in Punjab. This cause has faced widespread condemnation in India.

The US apprehended an Indian national, accused of orchestrating a plan to kill Pannun by hiring someone within the United States.

An unidentified Indian official, implicated in the indictment filed by federal prosecutors in a Manhattan court on Wednesday, appeared alongside the mentioned Indian national.

Highlighting the gravity of the investigation, John Kirby, the Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council in the White House, stated in a news conference, "We take these allegations very seriously, and we are pleased to see that the Indians are also taking it seriously by announcing their own efforts to investigate this. We've been clear that we want to see anyone responsible for these alleged crimes held accountable."

Addressing concerns about the impact on US-India relations, Kirby, while emphasizing the strategic partnership, assured reporters, "I want to be cautious not to preempt the Department of Justice and discuss an ongoing investigation. I would say two things: India remains a strategic partner, and we will continue to enhance and strengthen that strategic partnership with India. Simultaneously, we treat this matter with utmost seriousness."

In an indictment, the Department of Justice charged Indian national Nikhil Gupta with conspiracy to commit murder for hire, linking him to the alleged plot against Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. Gupta is accused of collaborating with an Indian government employee to enlist and compensate an assassin for the planned killing.

Following the Nikhil Gupta case, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to convene to discuss the developments.

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