India reacts to Pakistani allegations of ‘extrajudicial killings’
India has accused Pakistan of “peddling false and malicious propaganda” after Islamabad alleged that New Delhi was involved in two assassinations on its soil, claiming the cases were linked to similar incidents in the US and Canada.
On Thursday, Islamabad’s foreign secretary, Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi, accused India of orchestrating the killing of two Pakistani nationals, Shahid Latif and Mohammad Riaz, in Pakistan last year. Latif was believed to have been involved in a 2016 attack on an Indian Air Force base in Punjab, while Qasim was alleged to have been one of the main conspirators behind an attack in Jammu and Kashmir on January 1, 2023. Both were considered terrorists by New Delhi.
During a televised briefing, Qazi claimed Islamabad has “documentary, financial, and forensic evidence” linking Indian agents to the deaths. “These are killings for hire cases, involving a sophisticated international setup spread over multiple jurisdictions,” he alleged, claiming that Indian agents used social media and “safe havens on foreign soil” to orchestrate the murders. Qazi said similar cases allegedly involving India are under investigation.
Responding to the claims, Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said Pakistan “has long been the epicenter of terrorism, organized crime, and illegal transnational activities.” He added that “India and many other countries have publicly warned Pakistan cautioning that it would be consumed by its own culture of terror and violence.”
India and Pakistan have been locked in a border dispute since 1947, primarily over Kashmir, a former princely state nestled between the two neighbors. The countries have engaged in four wars since their independence and have experienced numerous skirmishes in border areas.
Earlier this month, Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar claimed that Pakistan’s fundamental policy involves utilizing “cross-border terrorism” to compel India to negotiate. He insisted that New Delhi does not resort to such tactics.
Similar allegations of extrajudicial killings were previously leveled against India by Canada and the US. Last September, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed his government had “credible intelligence” linking Indian agents to the killing of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar outside Vancouver. New Delhi has denied the accusations.
In November, a US court indictment maintained that an Indian government agent orchestrated a plot to kill another prominent Sikh leader, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, in New York, prompting New Delhi to form a high-level committee to investigate the case.