Unprecedented India Assassination Plot Against U.S. Citizen Threatens International Stability

November 30, 2023 By admin Off

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams unveiled an indictment against Nikhil Gupta, an alleged Indian narcotics trafficker who prosecutors say had attempted to hire a hitman to assassinate Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a U.S. citizen. Gupta, who was arrested in the Czech Republic, was directed by a senior Indian government official. The details sound like something out of a spy novel, but in the real world there are no suave super-spies in tailored suits always ready to save the day.Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar was assassinated in British Columbia, after which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Canadian government was investigating potential ties between the killing and the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. That accusation and the subsequent diplomatic turmoil shocked the world, but now twice is a pattern. While the specific Indian official who is alleged to have ordered the assassination is not identified, the U.S. intelligence services apparently have direct communications between Mr. X and Gupta, including the directive that Pannun’s murder was “a priority now.” The long tendrils of right-wing authoritarianism are spreading across the world, far outside the borders of the strongmen themselves. It’s certainly not the first time in modern history that despots have directed killings and abductions well beyond their putative jurisdictions. It is especially galling for these antidemocratic factions to reach around the globe to the places where democracy is holding on and assert their authoritarian power. The only way this stops is if it becomes clear to those regimes that they also won’t be safe from the blowback. The Biden administration is right to have impressed on India that this would not be tolerated, dispatching the CIA director to deliver the message.