Nijjar vs Pannun: Why Jaishankar is right in saying there can't be 'equitable treatment' to US and Canada

Sushim Mukul
Sushim MukulDec 10, 2023 | 08:00

Nijjar vs Pannun: Why Jaishankar is right in saying there can't be 'equitable treatment' to US and Canada

S Jaishankar defended India's actions based on the information received from Canada and the USA. Photo: S Jaishankar/dailyO

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, on Thursday, December 7, stated in the Rajya Sabha that there is no question of ‘equitable treatment’ to the US and Canada regarding allegations made by both countries concerning assassination plots against Khalistani terrorists.

He drew a distinct line between the two situations, defending India's actions based on the information received from each country.


What's it about?


  • Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has repeatedly made allegations of Indian involvement in the murder of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June 2023.
  • The first allegation by Trudeau came in September 2023 while speaking in the Canadian House of Commons. He also mentioned that Canadian security agencies were examining potential ties to India, based on "credible allegations."
  • Trudeau had even warned India, saying, "India needs to take this seriously."
  • The allegations followed the calling back of diplomats from the respective countries and the issuance of visas.


  • A November report by the Financial Times revealed Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a close aide and the US-based pro-Khalistani group Sikh for Justice leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun was a target of an assassination plot as well.
  • The report revealed US authorities foiled the plot to kill Pannun, who had multiple times issued terror threats to India, including the killing of the Indian PM Narendra Modi, attacks on Air India flights, the ICC World Cup final in Ahmedabad and to attack the Indian Parliament on or before December 13, being the latest.
  • Following the foiled plot, the US Justice Department filed a lawsuit in a US court, naming Nikhil Gupta and an Indian official code-named "CC-1."
  • The Financial Times report also made it clear that the 'Pannun plot' was known to the US since June and it only came to light when the Justice Department filed the lawsuit.
  • Since then Indian and American leaders and top officials have had multiple meetings, including the POTUS Joe Biden's visiting New Delhi for the G20 Summit in September 2023.
  • India responded to this with shock and concern and formed an inquiry committee to investigate the matter, based on the inputs provided the the US on the 'Pannun plot.'
  • EAM Jaishankar, on Thursday, said, "Insofar as Canada is concerned, no specific evidence or inputs were provided to us."

'No equitable treatment'

  • Jaishankar emphasized that the Indian government received inputs from the United States, stating, "Certain inputs were given to us as part of our security cooperation with the United States. Those inputs were of concern to us because they related to the nexus of organized crime, trafficking, and other matters."
  • Responding to Canadian PM Justin Trudeau's allegations, Jaishankar highlighted the absence of specific evidence or inputs from Canada.
  • Trudeau's repeated 'warnings' and the diplomatic actions taken in Canada's case, contrasting with those from the US, showcased a different tone.

It's noteworthy that the Indian government has the discretion to act based on how the governments of Canada and the US acted.

Hence, "no question of equitable treatment!"

Last updated: December 10, 2023 | 08:00
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