Biden administration satisfied with accountability it has demanded from India in Pannun case, says Garcetti

Biden administration satisfied with accountability it has demanded from India in Pannun case, says Garcetti

NEW DELHI: US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti expressed satisfaction with the accountability demanded by the Biden administration from India regarding allegations of officials’ involvement in a plot to kill a Khalistani separatist on US soil.
Speaking at a council on foreign relations event, Garcetti emphasized the importance of accountability in maintaining the US-India relationship, saying that this incident could potentially be the first significant challenge in their partnership.
“When I was referring to a relationship that might have bumps along the road, this would be potentially the first big fight in a relationship. And so far, knock on wood, I would say the administration is satisfied with the accountability that we’ve demanded on this, because this is a red line for America, for our citizens,” he said.
Garcetti highlighted the ongoing criminal case and indictment, stressing that any connection to State actors must be met with accountability. He acknowledged India’s establishment of a commission of inquiry and the expectation of shared information while the US pursues American justice.
“So, there’s been a commission of inquiry that India has brought together, and that we expect, while we do the criminal case that is about American justice, that there need to be consequences and shared information. So far, one of the most difficult things you can do as an ambassador in diplomacy, I have been satisfied with what they have done. I think the administration is, but we have many steps still to go,” Garcetti said.
The case revolves around Pannun, an India-designated terrorist holding American and Canadian citizenship.
According to the US Justice Department’s indictment, Nikhil Gupta was allegedly approached by an unidentified government employee to hire a hitman for the attempted assassination that was foiled by US police. However, the Russian and Indian authorities have expressed doubts about the Washington-provided evidence and have demanded hard evidence of India’s purported participation in the plan.
Amidst these developments, the ministry of external affairs has vehemently denied any official engagement in the reported assassination plot, dismissing it as baseless speculation. Describing it as an “unwarranted and unsubstantiated” imputation on a “serious matter” that is under investigation, MEA official spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said the US media report was “speculative and irresponsible.”
(With inputs from agencies)

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