Modi-led Indian govt ordered killings in Pakistan: UK media report

Modi-led Indian govt ordered killings in Pakistan: UK media report
Source: File Photo

London (Web Desk/Agencies): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office ordered the assassination of individuals in neighbouring Pakistan, according to a report in The Guardian quoting Indian and Pakistani intelligence operatives.

The British newspaper said that the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW), an agency that is directly controlled by PM Modi’s office, had undertaken the strategy to “eliminate (alleged) terrorists living on foreign soil”.

The accounts, according to the report, gives further weight to allegations that New Delhi has implemented a policy of targeting those it considers hostile to India.

While the new allegations refer to individuals charged with serious and violent terror offences, India has also been accused publicly by Canada of involvement in the murders of dissident figures including a Sikh activist in Canada and of a botched assassination attempt on another Sikh leader in the United States (US) last year.

The fresh claims relate to almost 20 killings since 2020, carried out by unknown gunmen in Pakistan, The Guardian pointed out, noting this is the first time Indian intelligence personnel have discussed the alleged operations in Pakistan, and detailed documentation has been seen alleging Raw’s direct involvement in the assassinations.

Quoting Pakistani investigators, the report said these deaths were orchestrated by Indian intelligence sleeper-cells mostly operating out of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The rise in killings in 2023 was credited to the increased activity of these cells, which are accused of paying millions of rupees to local criminals or poor Pakistanis to carry out the assassinations. 
Indian agents also allegedly recruited ‘jihadists’ to carry out the shootings, making them believe they were killing “infidels”, the report said.

This was the case in the killing of Sikh leader in Pakistan, Paramjit Singh Panjwar, who was shot dead in Lahore in May.

The Indian foreign intelligence agency changed its strategy to assassinate potential threats after the 2019 Pulwama attack, which was claimed by Jaish-e-Mohammed group, The Guardian reported quoting Indian officials.

“After Pulwama, the approach changed to target the elements outside the country before they are able to launch an attack or create any disturbance,” an Indian intelligence operative told the Guardian. “We could not stop the attacks because ultimately their safe havens were in Pakistan, so we had to get to the source.”

Following the Sikh leader’s killing in Lahore, the United States and Canada made similar allegations against India. The United States said that it foiled an alleged plot to assassinate Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil last year.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had told his Parliament in September last year that his country’s intelligence agencies were pursuing “credible allegations” linking agents of the Indian government to the killing of another Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

In January this year, Pakistan had said that it had “credible evidence” linking “Indian agents” to the assassination of two of its nationals, Shahid Latif and Riyaz Ahmad.

Meanwhile, India’s external affairs ministry has denied all the allegations made in the Guardian’s report.