Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

US Allegations on India in Terrorist Execution Plot


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: Read the attached story


Central Idea

  • US Allegations: The US has implicated an Indian official in a plot to assassinate a Khalistani terrorist, raising serious concerns for the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
  • Indian Government’s Stance: While the MEA acknowledges the gravity of the situation, it refutes the claims of the Indian diplomat’s involvement.

Backdrop and Timing of the Allegations

  • Concurrent Events: The indictment period coincided with PM Narendra Modi’s visit to the G7 and Quad leaders’ summit and the India-US Defence Industrial Cooperation Roadmap’s conclusion.
  • Profile of the Accused Official: Described as a “Senior Field Officer” with a background in security management, intelligence, and military training, the official is also noted to have served in the Central Reserve Police Force.


Pre-Indictment Measures by India

  • Proactive Steps: Anticipating the indictment, India formed a high-level inquiry committee on November 18.
  • Committee Composition: Likely includes officials from intelligence, investigative, law enforcement agencies, and the MEA.
  • Prior Diplomatic Engagements: The indictment followed months of diplomatic and intelligence discussions between the US and India, including meetings between US NSA Jake Sullivan and NSA Ajit Doval, and CIA Director William Burns’ visit to India.

India’s Diplomatic Response

  • Contrast with Canada’s Allegations: India’s response contrasts with its reaction to Canada’s allegations regarding the killing of another Khalistani separatist, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, where it accused Canada of being a “safe haven” for extremists.
  • Previous Incident with the US: Recalls the 2013 incident involving Devyani Khobragade (IFS), which led to diplomatic tensions but was later resolved.
  • Current Approach: India is showing restraint, prioritizing its relationship with the US, and aiming to prevent the situation from escalating into a diplomatic crisis.

US-India Relations: A Complex Dynamic

  • Strategic and Values-Based Partnership: The relationship has evolved over decades, marked by significant trade and strategic interests, and a debate over shared values versus strategic interests.
  • Historical Perspective: The relationship has weathered various challenges, including the Nixon-Kissinger era, nuclear tests sanctions, and the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Way Forward

  • Commitment to Investigation: India’s thorough investigation is crucial for maintaining its credibility and managing its relationship with the US.
  • Extradition Considerations: India must question why the US is not keen on extraditing a man facing terror charges to India.
  • Global Diplomatic Impact: The outcome will affect India’s relations with the “Five Eyes” intelligence partner countries.
  • India’s reputation: India’s reputation as a consistent and credible power is at stake, necessitating a wise and principled approach.

Conclusion: Navigating a Diplomatic Tightrope

  • The Indian government faces a delicate diplomatic challenge in addressing the US allegations.
  • Balancing national integrity with maintaining robust international relations, especially with a key partner like the United States, is crucial for India’s diplomatic posture and global standing.

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