New Delhi: In a diplomatic move, India has brought to the attention of the United States and Canadian authorities the threats issued by Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun against the Indian Parliament. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced that it has taken the matter seriously and is working to address the situation through proper channels.
Pannun, a designated terrorist by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), recently made a video threatening to attack the Indian Parliament on or before December 13. This date holds historical significance as it marks the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament. The main convict of that attack, Mohammed Afzal Guru, was hanged in 2013 at the Tihar Jail.
Arindam Bagchi, the MEA spokesperson, emphasized the seriousness with which India regards such threats. While acknowledging the tendency of extremists to seek media coverage, Bagchi stated that the government has raised the issue with both US and Canadian authorities. The dual citizenship of Pannun, holding passports from both the US and Canada, adds a layer of complexity to the situation.
In response to the reported threats on Air India flights by Khalistani extremists, Bagchi assured that Indian security agencies would take appropriate action if any criminal activity occurred. He highlighted the condemnation of such threats and affirmed that security agencies would respond appropriately to safeguard national interests.
Addressing the issue of Pannun’s prosecution in the US, Bagchi explained that New Delhi seeks assistance through established procedures. The MEA has flagged concerns to its international partners multiple times, emphasizing the crimes for which Pannun is wanted in India. Bagchi clarified that the request for prosecution depends on whether a crime has been committed, underscoring the ongoing dialogue and cooperation between India and its partners on matters of security.
Speaking about the upcoming visit of FBI Director Christopher Wray to India, Bagchi highlighted that it is part of the bilateral cooperation between New Delhi and Washington. While not specifying the exact issues to be discussed, Bagchi mentioned the robust collaboration on security, cyber security, counter-terrorism, and counter-narcotics terrorism. He added that the visit is a part of ongoing efforts, showcasing the cooperation and capacity-building programs between the two countries.
However, Bagchi did not provide details on the specific agenda for Wray’s visit, leaving room for speculation on the range of topics that may be covered during the discussions. The spokesperson reiterated the continuous engagement between Indian and US agencies in various areas of security.
Addressing the reports of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists being killed by unknown gunmen in Pakistan, Bagchi expressed India’s preference for the terrorists to face the legal system in India. While emphasizing India’s desire for individuals wanted for criminal and terrorist activities to be brought to justice in the country, Bagchi refrained from commenting on developments within Pakistan.
In conclusion, the diplomatic efforts of India to address threats against its Parliament and engage in cooperation with the US and Canada reflect a commitment to ensuring national security. The ongoing conversation and collaboration with international partners underscore the importance of joint efforts in countering terrorism and maintaining global security. The upcoming visit of FBI Director Christopher Wray adds a layer of anticipation, highlighting the multifaceted nature of India’s engagement with the United States on various security-related fronts.