Pakistan slams Indian plot to kill Sikh on US soil


Pakistan on Thursday condemned the Indian conspiracy to assassinate a Sikh leader in the United States, which was foiled, expressing concerns that India’s network of espionage and extra territorial killings had gone global in clear violation of the international law.

At her weekly news briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch confirmed that Pakistan had made a formal request to join BRICS, after noting the group-related developments in its last summit meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa.

At the briefing, the spokesperson’s attention was drawn towards a Financial Times report that the US authorities had thwarted a plot to kill a Sikh separatist, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, in the United States, and issued a warning to India over concerns the government in New Delhi was involved.

The report also said that a protest was lodged with New Delhi after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was welcomed on a state visit by President Joe Biden in June.

The report came two months after Canada linked Indian agents to the murder of a Sikh separatist leader, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, in Vancouver.

On the conspiracy, Mumtaz recalled that Pakistan had long been a target of India’s state-sponsored terrorism and espionage.

“India’s network of espionage and extra-territorial killings has gone global. India’s irresponsible and reckless conduct is a clear violation of international laws,” she said.

Mumtaz also mentioned that banning halal food in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh was “yet another manifestation of increasing Islamophobia in India”, adding that “banning of halal food is affront to the rights and freedom of Muslims in India”.

Read also: US thwarts plot to kill Sikh separatist, issues warning to India -FT

To a question, the spokesperson confirmed that Pakistan had made a formal request to join BRICS – which comprised Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

“We have taken this decision after having noted the BRICS-related developments in Johannesburg,” she said.

“By joining the organisation, Pakistan can play an important role in furthering international cooperation and revitalisation of inclusive multilateralism. We hope that BRICS will move forward on Pakistan’s request in line with its commitment for inclusive multilateralism,” she added.

At the 15th BRICS Summit in August this year, six countries, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were invited to join the organisation.

“Pakistan enjoys friendly ties with most members of BRICS as well as the newly invited group of countries,” Mumtaz said.

The spokesperson also expressed concern over the terror threat emanating from Afghanistan. “We expect the Afghan authorities to take immediate action against the terrorist entities so that they do not pose any threat to us,” Mumtaz told reporters.

She reiterated Pakistan’s stance that peace in the Middle East could only be achieved with the implementation of the relevant UN resolutions calling for a two-state solution, with a sovereign and geographically contiguous Palestinian state within with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital. (WITH INPUT FROM RADIO PAKISTAN)

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