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Gurpatwant Singh Pannun murder bid: US official recognises India’s commitment to probe into matter

In the statement, the White House said, “Finer acknowledged India’s establishment of a Committee of Enquiry to investigate lethal plotting in the United States and the importance of holding accountable anyone found responsible.”

Following the unsealing of an indictment by the US Justice Department against an Indian national, accusing him of a thwarted plot to assassinate a US-based leader of the Sikh Separatist Movement and a New York citizen, Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer has made a statement.

Also Read: Gurpatwant Singh Pannun murder bid: Senior US official Jon Finer discusses investigative panel for foiled plot in India

The Justice Department has claimed that an Indian government employee referred to as CC-1, unnamed in the filed indictment in a Manhattan federal court, allegedly recruited Nikhil Gupta, another Indian national, to engage a hitman for the assassination attempt. The foiled plot, as detailed by prosecutors, prompted the acknowledgement from Jon Finer regarding India’s establishment of a Committee of Enquiry to investigate the matter.

Furthermore, India has already constituted a high-level enquiry committee to look into all the relevant aspects regarding the concerns shared by the United States and will be taking “necessary follow-up action” based on the findings.

On November 30, the Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson said, “During the course of discussions with US on bilateral security cooperation, the US side shared some inputs pertaining to nexus between organised crimes, gun runners, terrorists and extremists. We take such inputs very seriously and high-level inquiry committee has been constituted to look into all the relevant aspects of the matter, and necessary follow-up action will be taken based on the findings of the inquiry committee. You would have seen this in our statements that we have issued.”

Also Read: Gurpatwant Pannun assassination: US in direct talks with India on alleged plan to kill Khalistani leader, says Blinken

On December 4, Jon Finer led a delegation from the United States to New Delhi, where he engaged in discussions with Deputy National Security Advisor Vikram Misri. The meeting involved an intersessional review of the US-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET), as outlined in a statement issued by the White House.

The statement released by the White House reads, “The iCET is a major milestone in the US-India partnership, which is increasingly defined by strategic security and technology cooperation.”

Also Read: What Khalistani separatist Gurpatwant Pannun’s failed murder attempt means for India-US ties?

Earlier in May 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden jointly inaugurated the iCET (Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology) to foster result-driven collaboration in novel and advancing technologies. The leadership of iCET is jointly undertaken by the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) in India and the United States National Security Council (NSC).

Meanwhile, Finer also held a meeting with External Affairs S Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, and Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra for in-depth discussions aimed at strengthening coordination and policy alignment across the Indo-Pacific region.

Also Read: Pannun ‘assassination’ plot: How accused Nikhil Gupta was nabbed in Prague, handed over to US days before indictment

In the statement, the White House said, “In addition, Mr. Finer conducted bilateral and regional consultations with Ambassador Misri, Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, and Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra for in-depth discussions aimed at strengthening coordination and policy alignment across the Indo-Pacific, including the wider Indian Ocean region.”

The two sides discussed the Middle East, including the recent attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea and the importance of safeguarding freedom of commercial navigation and plans for a post-conflict Gaza and a pathway towards a two-state solution.

Misri and Finer affirmed the importance of easing regulations to facilitate high-tech collaborations, and transfer of technology. In the statement, MEA said, “Their discussions served to highlight the immense potential to tap synergies between their domestic initiatives and boost the competitiveness of industry in both countries.”

Also Read: ‘Big target in Canada’, ‘more jobs’: US chargesheet reveals links between murder bid on Khalistani Pannun, Nijjar

Both sides expressed satisfaction with ongoing collaborations in various domains including semiconductors, quantum, artificial intelligence (Al) and high-performance computing (HPC), defence innovation, advanced telecommunications and space through interactions between the respective governments, industry, academia and other stakeholders.

According to the MEA statement, Finer’s visit to India is a follow-up to the visit of US NSA Jake Sullivan to India in June 2023 and NSA Ajit Doval’s visit to the US in January 2023. 

(With inputs from ANI)

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Updated: 05 Dec 2023, 12:24 PM IST


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