Red line must not be crossed: US envoy on plot to kill Pannun

Team Parvasi – Inside

Red line must not be crossed: US envoy on plot to kill Pannun
New York: Acknowledging that India and the US are working together in the investigation of the alleged foiled assassination plot against Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti said a “red line” should not be crossed between the two countries.

Referring to marches and threats issued by Pannun, Garcetti said the US system protected free speech “for better or for worse”, adding an American citizen could be convicted or deported only as per country’s laws.

In an interview, Garcetti said: “Under our law, for an American citizen to be convicted in an American court or to be deported to have a criminal case in another country, it has to meet our law, and so we’ll continue working. And if anybody ever says something that steps over that line, and I know it’s gotten very close, we will be working together on that.”

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Last year, Pannun had threatened Air India would not be allowed to operate on November 19. Following this, he threatened an attack on Indian Parliament on December 13, the 2001 terror attack anniversary.

Referring to the ongoing investigation into the alleged plot to assassinate Pannun, Garcetti said the fact that New Delhi and Washington were working together to hold those behind criminal action showed how strong and close the India-US relationship currently was.

He, however, emphasised a “red line” should not be crossed and no government employee of any country could be involved in an assassination plot of a foreign citizen. “I think that’s absolutely critical. For any of us, just abstractly, that has to be a red line. No government or government employee can be involved in the alleged assassination of one of your own citizens. That’s just an unacceptable red line,” he said.

“Any country, having an active member of their government involved in a second country trying to assassinate one of their citizens. That’s, I think, usually a red line for any country. That’s a basic issue of sovereignty. That’s a basic issue of rights,” he added.

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