Top diplomat Donald Lu: We are working with India to hold accountable those responsible for Pannun’s assassination attempt

Khalistani activist and designated terrorist in India Gurpatwant Singh Pannun

Reena Bhardwaj (ANI)–

Top US diplomat, Donald Lu, has termed the case of the alleged assassination attempt against Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun a “serious issue” between the two countries and said that Washington is working with New Delhi to hold accountable those responsible. The US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Donald Lu, was asked about the issue during a US Congressional hearing on the Pakistan election on Wednesday.

During the hearing titled ‘Examining the Future of Democracy in Pakistan and the US-Pakistan Relationship’, the top US diplomat highlighted that India has created a committee to investigate the matter.

“This is a serious issue, a serious issue between the United States and India. The Department of Justice has alleged that Indian citizen at the behest of someone working in the Indian government has attempted to kill an American citizen on American soil. We take this and the administration incredibly seriously and have raised it at the highest levels with India,” he said at the hearing.

“We are at the moment working with India to encourage India to hold accountable those responsible for this terrible crime. What we can see is that India itself has announced that they have created a committee of inquiry to look into this matter and we ask them to work quickly and transparently to make sure justice is done,” Donald Lu added.

Pannun is an India-designated terrorist who holds American and Canadian citizenships. As per the US Department of Justice (DOJ) indictment, an Indian national, Nikhil Gupta, who is currently in custody, has been charged with murder-for-hire of Pannun.

The DOJ had claimed that an Indian government employee, who was not identified in the indictment filed, had recruited the Indian national to hire a hitman to allegedly carry out the assassination of Pannun, which was foiled by US authorities.

In December last year, US Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer acknowledged India’s establishment of a Committee of Enquiry to investigate the plot to allegedly kill Pannun in the US.

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