India Urges U.S. Action Against Pro-Khalistani Groups Amidst Homeland Security Dialogue

Featured & Cover India Urges U S Action Against Pro Khalistani Groups Amidst Homeland Security Dialogue

India has reiterated its call for the investigation of pro-Khalistani groups in the United States, alleging their involvement in inciting violence against India. This demand was emphasized during the India-U.S. Homeland Security Dialogue (HSD), a significant meeting where senior officials discussed ongoing cooperation in counter-terrorism and security measures. Alongside, both parties deliberated on tackling the surge in narcotics trafficking, notably the proliferation of Fentanyl, a potent drug posing a substantial challenge for the U.S.

“In this context, they discussed steps that can be taken to bolster bilateral efforts to combat terrorism and violent extremism, drug trafficking, organised crime and ensure transportation security,” stated a Home Ministry release following the discussions. Leading the Indian delegation was Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, while the U.S. team was headed by Kristie Canegallo, Acting Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The dialogue also addressed the imperative to address issues such as illegal immigration, human trafficking, money laundering, cybercrimes, and the illicit exploitation of the cyber domain for various illegal activities, including financing terrorism.

However, the official statements didn’t touch upon the ongoing inquiry in the U.S. concerning the alleged “assassin for hire” case. U.S. authorities have accused an Indian individual, purportedly working for a senior Indian security official, of orchestrating the assassination of Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the chief of Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a pro-Khalistan separatist group based in the United States. Although the Ministry of External Affairs had declared in November its intention to launch a high-level investigation into these allegations, no further updates have been disclosed. Nonetheless, it’s understood that both sides maintain regular communication to discuss the progress of the case.

During the HSD talks, India also raised concerns about separatist factions operating within the U.S., including those responsible for recent assaults on Indian diplomatic missions. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar had previously emphasized the importance of countries taking action against entities targeting Indian embassies, cautioning that failure to do so could tarnish their reputations. He specifically mentioned the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom in this regard, urging them to address attacks such as the storming of the Indian high commission in London and threats against Indian diplomats in Canada.

Established in 2011, the Homeland Security Dialogue serves as a platform for both countries to address various pressing issues. After a hiatus, it was reinstated in 2021 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Indian Embassy in Washington, focusing on topics such as cybersecurity, emerging technology, and combating violent extremism.

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