India’s Transnational Assassinations: Western Complicity

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The shadow of state-sponsored assassinations has traditionally loomed over the diplomatic arena. With the majority of the global community deeming such acts as blatant defiance of international legislation, the current expose by the Guardian on India’s extrajudicial executions of dissenting voices abroad has sent shockwaves both regionally and globally. With allegations pinned on India’s most precious secret agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), the masterminds behind targeted killings in countries like Pakistan, Canada, the UK and the US, tell an ominous story. This story exposes not only New Delhi’s disregard for sovereignty but also its conduct of duplicitous standards.

Unmasking India’s Covert Operations

The discovery of the damning facts, which include intelligence officials’ testimonies and a dossier put forth by documents brought by Pakistani investigators aptly exposes the sinister design of India’s covert operations. Reports show that R&AW, under the direct control of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has continued with a heinous strategy to get rid of people, who are perceived to be opponents of BJP Modi’s interests. Although some of the victims were convicted of grave terror assaults, others, such as the Sikh activists in Canada and the US, were Killed and attempted to murder, solely, for having expressed their dissenting opinion against Indian Government.

A Trail of Blood: India’s Global Assassination Network

The modus operandi of India’s covert operations reveals a chilling pattern of violence and deceit. From hiring local criminals to exploiting the sentimental side of jihadists, India’s intelligence operatives have not spared any effort to silence those who are deemed their enemies. The sleeper cells based in a third country became the most vital link to organize such killings with compensation financially, money ranging into millions of rupees, flowing between their cohorts, only to facilitate the murderous campaigns. The active role of the Indian agents in exploiting terrorist groups for the execution of their criminal activities is symbolic of the moral depravity in this strategic design.

The Pulwama Pretext: Justifying Extrajudicial Killings

In the wake of the Pulwama attack in 2019, which cost the lives of 40 paramilitary personnel, India’s national strategy took a downward turn. The act turned into an excuse for R&AW to step up its policy of selected killings on foreign soil, the reason for which was to preemptively neutralize impending perceived threats emanating from Pakistan. Nevertheless, India’s arguments are inaudible when the pile of evidence pointing at India’s shameful human rights violations and global rule infringements, continues to grow unsolved.

The West’s Complicity: Turning a Blind Eye

As worry-causing as India’s blatant violations is the West’s tacit approval of India’s actions. While India has been blamed for carrying out political assassinations on foreign grounds, Western Governments have so far been indifferent. While the assertion by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudo got some attention in foreign media, the reaction to the heinous killing remained somehow insensitive. The disclosure of the surveillance of Indian intelligence services regarding the elimination of Sikh opponents in the US also did not trigger strong diplomatic reactions or sanctions from the US side. This duplicity underscores the uneven implementation of human rights and democracy as a priority.

Also Read: India’s Hypocrisy: A Cloak of Terrorism

Double Standards and Hypocrisy: The West’s Façade of Morality

It is obvious that the West has double standards while dealing with India and when compared with other nations. For example, the US is critical of human rights abuses and extraterritorial actions by China, but this disapproval weakens when such violations are allegedly committed by India. In addition to that, the West’s willful indifference to India, which is brought by geopolitical interests and economic benefits, helps India to act with impunity on many international issues. Even though Modi has evaded democratic norms, by doing a crackdown on dissent, and supposed involvement in extrajudicial killings, but Western countries are still willing to build a friendship with India and consider it as a strategic partner and economic precedent for vested intentions.

This dichotomy in the Western attitude towards India gets clearer when Israel is matched against it. The US recognises the Israeli position in Gaza and likewise, shows support by providing military aid worth US$18 billion to enhance Israel’s Defence capabilities. It is therefore evident that Western foreign policy favors strategic alliances over human rights and democratic values.

International Ramifications: Implications for Global Security

The involvement of India in transnational assassinations is not limited to the region of South Asia only. In the era of the explosion in extremist ideologies and the emergence of non-state actors, the treatment of targeted killings as a new normal craft a dangerous precedent that can be used to justify more violence in international relations. The disappearance of the norms and principles, which once governed state interest, makes the world drift into chaos, where the function of the law becomes blurry and might trump the laws at the expense of usefulness.

Confronting the Challenge: A Call to Action

In light of the recent disclosure regarding India’s cross-border assassinations, accountability and responsibility become the key priorities. To address this matter holistically, a full-fledged investigation, well-founded with evidence remains essential; also, responsible persons should be punished befittingly for what they have done. Additionally, the West must deal with its indirect contribution to such acts, lest it reveal its hypocrisy for being the self-declared pillar of equal values. In a world, where politics and humanitarian interventions are complex, the quest for justice and honesty should remain stronger beyond all the political powers and deceits.

Need to Hold India Accountable

With the rising evidence and condemnation from the international community, the onus lies on India to accept the charges. The application of the principles of sovereignty and human rights requires all sorts of investigations into the conduct of R&AW and its employees to be open, free, and fair. Also, the West shall revise, and re-examine its strategic relations, and therefore, should not deny and evade the principle of justice and accountability irrespective of the fact that it may not be politically convenient. If we want to prevent the repetition of such brutalities, then it is a must only through our collective action and ironclad commitment to the rule of law.

The opinions shared in this article reflect the author’s personal views and do not necessarily align with the institution’s official stance.

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