Allegations of Indian involvement in assassination efforts in US and Canada is very concerning says State Dept nominee



WASHINGTON: The allegations that India was involved in the assassination attempts in the US and Canada are very concerning, a senior academician nominated to a top human rights diplomatic position in the State Department has told lawmakers.“Yes, it is very concerning what happened on US soil and Canadian soil,” Dafna Hochman Rand, nominee to be Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour, told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during her confirmation hearing on Thursday.She was responding to a question from Senator Ben Cardin, Chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee.“I want to raise India… We know about a plot to assassinate… on US soil and Canadian soil. I’d like to hear your commitment to how you would get engaged in those types of efforts to make sure that type of conduct does not take place,” Cardin asked.“First and foremost, it’s clear that India is a critical ally, the oldest democracy there, the biggest democracy, but it is those shared values, the democratic values that we need that bind this alliance. And as if confirmed, as DRL’s Assistant Secretary, I will be a voice in the administration, making sure that we’re not abashed,” Rand said in response to the question.India has described as a “matter of concern” the US linking an Indian official to a man charged with conspiring to kill a Sikh separatist on American soil, and asserted that follow-up action will be taken based on findings of a panel investigating the allegations.India has already constituted a probe team to investigate the allegations relating to the foiled plot to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a Sikh extremist who is an American and Canadian citizen.Regarding Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations that there was a “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in a Vancouver suburb in June.The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson said the main issue with Ottawa has been that of activities of anti-India elements in that country.”Insofar as Canada is concerned, they have consistently given space to anti-India extremists and violence. That is at the heart of the issue. Our diplomatic representatives have borne the brunt of this,” he said.



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