New Delhi, November 23, 2023
Calling the foiled attempt on his life ‘transnational terrorism’ and threat to US sovereignty, Khalistan leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said on Thursday that he will let the American government respond to it.
New York-based Pannun’s remarks came a day after Financial Times reported that authorities in the US thwarted a conspiracy to assassinate him and issued a warning to India over concerns that it was involved in the plot.
“The foiled attempt on my life on American soil by the Indian agents is transnational terrorism which is a threat to the US sovereignty, freedom of speech and democracy, so I will let the US government respond to this threat, Pannun, a US and Canadian citizen, said in a statement released on Thursday.
As per the Times report, the US informed some of its allies about the plot following the killing of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June this year outside a gurdwara in Surrey.
In September, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had said there were “credible allegations” linking New Delhi to Nijjar’s fatal shooting.
The legal counsel of the banned Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) said the group is using “ballot to liberate Punjab while India is using bullets to stop the ongoing Khalistan referendum”.
He said that at the moment his focus is not on the threats to his life but to organise the US phase of Khalistan Referendum scheduled to start from San Francisco on January 28.
The SFJ made the “America Votes” declaration earlier this month with a float celebrating former Indian Army Chief General A.S. Vaidya’s killing by Sikh separatists Sukhdeo Singh and Harjinder Singh in 1986.
Pannun also “dared” Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to “declare Open Armed Conflict with Punjab” in the statement, which he titled, “violence begets violence, is India ready to face consequences?”
The report over the alleged plot to kill Pannun coincided with the pro-Khalistan leader’s call to “picket” Air India flights on December 1 at the Toronto and Vancouver international airports in Canada.
His call to target the outbound AI 188 and AI 186 flights came a day after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) registered a case against him over a November 4 video threatening the Indian flag carrier.
In September this year, the NIA had confiscated the listed terrorist’s share of the house and land in Amritsar and Chandigarh.
Non-bailable arrest warrants were issued against Pannun by the NIA Special Court on February 3, 2021 and he was declared a ‘Proclaimed Offender’ on November 29, 2022.(Agency)