Centre Blasts Report On Targeted Pak Assassinations

New Delhi:

The foreign ministry has denied allegations in a report by the UK daily The Guardian that accuses India of conducting targeted killings in Pakistan to eliminate terrorists. The ministry has called it “false and malicious anti-India propaganda” and quoted foreign minister S Jaishankar, who had said targeted killings in other countries were “not the government of India’s policy”.

The ministry’s denial was mentioned in the report by The Guardian, which claims that Delhi “has implemented a policy of targeting those it considers hostile to India”.

Claiming that upto 20 such assassinations were carried out by the Indian intelligence agency RAW since the Pulwama attack of 2019, the report mentions that it is based on evidence supplied by Pakistan and interviews with intelligence officials from both sides of the border.

Quoting an un-named Indian official, The Guardian reported that India had drawn inspiration from Israeli intelligence agency Mossad and Russia’s KGB — which have been linked to extrajudicial killings on foreign soil — and the killing of Saudi journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

The report said Pakistani authorities have produced documents about some of the killings, which could not be independently verified. It said Pakistani officials also claimed that the killings were orchestrated by sleeper cells of Indian intelligence established in the UAE.

Earlier, US and Canada had accused India of being involved in assassinations and such attempts on foreign soil.

In September last year, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had claimed that there were “credible allegations” of Indian involvement in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. A Canadian citizen and a wanted terrorist in India, Nijjar was shot outside a gurdwara in Surrey in June. India had rejected the allegation as “absurd”.

Later, the US had claimed that they had foiled an attempt to kill another Khalistani separatist, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

The US claimed Pannun, an American-Canadian citizen, was the subject of an assassination bid orchestrated by Nikhil Gupta, an Indian national, and an un-named Indian government official.

India said it is examining US inputs on the “nexus between organized criminals, gun runners, terrorists and others” amid the US allegations.

“India takes such inputs seriously since it impinges on our own national security interests as well. Issues in the context of US inputs are already being examined by relevant departments,” former foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi had said.

Later, India had told the US that its investigation has found the involvement of a rogue official, reported Bloomberg. Quoting un-named intelligence officials, the report said that the person was no longer working with the agency.

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