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Washington questions India over plot ;sumé | Tensions between India and Canada

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Portrait of Gurpatwant Singh Pannun held up by protesters of the United Hindu Front organization in New Delhi in September 2023.

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The US government says it has questioned Indian authorities over allegations of a foiled assassination plot targeting a US-Canadian citizen. He expects that anyone found responsible will be “held to account.”

The alleged target of this plot, Sikh activist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, reacted in a press release on Wednesday, maintaining that he is not worried about the threats to his life and that he prefers to focus on organizing a separatist vote planned for January in San Francisco.

The spokesperson for the National Security Council United States, Adrienne Watson, said in a statement that the US government treats this issue with the utmost seriousness and has raised it with the highest officials of the Indian government.

After discussions with senior U.S. government officials, we understand that India is investigating this matter further. We will have more information to provide in the coming days, Watson said in writing.

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According to Watson, Indian authorities were surprised and concerned when they heard the allegations. They would have assured their American counterparts that this type of plot is not part of their practices.

The Indian High Commission did not respond to a request for comment sent to it by The Canadian Press.

In its press release, the United States National Security Council was reacting to an article in the Financial Times according to which the American authorities had foiled an assassination plan which targeted Mr. Pannun, the general counsel of Sikhs for Justice, on American soil.

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Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot dead outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, British British.

We also learned in this article that the Indian government was perhaps involved in this plot.

This situation occurred a few months after the assassination , last June, by Hardeep Singh Nijjar, another leading figure in the Sikh community in British Columbia.

In September, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed there were “credible allegations” linking the Indian government to the murder.

India has previously accused Mr Nijjar of being linked to terrorism activities but has denied being involved in his assassination.

Asked to comment on the potential plot that targeted Mr. Pannun, Mr. Trudeau mentioned that Canada continues to work with its allies to force India to collaborate during investigations. We hope that India will continue to take these concerns very seriously, he said.

Mr. Pannun, who has dual nationality, can see that India might be interested in him because of his role in organizing many separatist votes.

The foiled attempt on my life on American soil constitutes transnational terrorism, which constitutes a threat to the sovereignty, freedom of expression and democracy of the United States. I will therefore let the American government respond to this threat, he said in a statement.

Mr. Pannun, however, assured that his group will continue to campaign for freedom of Punjab from Indian occupation and a vote will be held for this purpose in San Francisco on January 28.

Mr. Trudeau's comments last September escalated diplomatic tensions between Canada and India, with both sides expelling each other's diplomats and the Indian government imposing a visa ban on Canadians.

These bans began to ease in October. Moreover, the High Commission of India in Ottawa indicated on social networks that Canadians can once again apply online for a tourist visa for India since Wednesday.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Mr. Pannun organized a series of Sikh separatist votes in Canada and the United States. He was in British Columbia as recently as late October when a Sikh gurdwara hosted the second round of a non-binding referendum on the creation of Khalistan, an independent Sikh state of #x27;India.

Earlier this month, Canadian authorities said they were investigating what they called threats against Air India following of posting videos online in which Mr. Pannun could be seen warning people not to board the airline's planes on November 19.

Mr. Pannun had previously argued that the video was a call to boycott the airline and that no threats were made.

A report released by the Canadian government in 2005 concluded that the 1985 Air India bombings, which killed 331 people, were the result of a conspiracy by Sikh separatists planned and executed in Canada.

Only one man, bomb maker Inderjit Singh Reyat, was convicted.

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