World’s Double-Speak On Terrorists – OpEd


Terrorism is the most direct asymmetric threat to the security to international stability and prosperity. A persistent global issue that knows no border, nationality or religion, terrorism is a challenge that the international community must tackle together but are we tackling together? The Answer:

The quote “One man’s Terrorist is another man’s Freedom Fighter” is a thought-provoking statement that highlights the subjective nature of labelling individuals or groups involved in conflicts. It suggests that the perception of a person’s actions depends on one’s perspective and the context in which they are viewed and that is how some of the countries are reacting finally in their interests that matter.

The purpose of the USA PATRIOT Act is to deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world, to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools. President Biden after the Hamas attack; “You know, history has taught us that when terrorists don’t pay a price for their terror, they cause more chaos and death and more destruction.  They keep going, and the cost and the threats to America and to the world keep rising.”

China Blocking blacklisting of terrorists a doublespeak. In June 2023 this year China blocked a proposal by India and the US to designate under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council to designate Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Sajid Mir, wanted for his involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks, as a global terrorist. Beijing has repeatedly placed holds and blocks on bids by India and its allies to list Pakistan-based terrorists.

On terrorism, China has domestically launched an unprecedented crackdown on religious freedom in its Muslim-dominated Xinjiang region and restricted human rights in the name of ‘tackling terrorism.’ Internationally it has failed to even acknowledge the threats posed by terrorism apparently because it shares deep ties with Pakistan generally hailed as the Epicentre of Terrorism.

India warned over foiled plot to kill Sikh leader on US soil.

President Biden told CIA director Bill Burns to contact his Indian counterpart, then travel to India to deliver a message that “We will not tolerate such activities and that we expect those responsible to be held fully accountable.” US still seeks or claims the right to intervene for a dominant control anywhere on earth trying to perform the role of a ‘Global Policeman’.  

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun of the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) leader, is a designated Khalistani terrorist declared under UAPA by the Indian Home Ministry. His organization, SFJ was also banned by the Indian government in 2019. Pannun is known for issuing threats and announcing bounties for anti-India activities. A wanted terrorist in India, claimed that India was using mercenaries to kill pro-Khalistan Sikhs, said he would continue to campaign for “liberation of Punjab from Indian occupation.

“US government has made public statements on the attempt on my life by Indian government agents, I will let the Biden administration speak on this,” he further said that he would kick off the “American phase” of Khalistan Referendum from San Francisco on January 28, 2024. “The Indian government is attempting to block this. I am also giving a call to ‘picket’ outbound flights from Toronto and Vancouver airports in Canada threatening another ‘Kanishka’ to Air India. Pannun is the legal adviser and founder of SFJ, a group that advocates for the creation of Khalistan. Pro-Khalistani elements are spread across the US, Canada, the UK and Australia. On multiple occasions, Indian consulates have been attacked. 

The US Justice Department has filed a chargesheet against an Indian national, Nikhil Gupta, in connection with an alleged assassination plot targeting a Sikh separatist leader, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun who lives in New York. According to the Justice Department, Gupta was arrested on June 30 in the Czech Republic and is awaiting extradition to the US. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. 

India has strongly denied any involvement in the alleged plot and has called the charges “absurd and motivated.” India expected the US to respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity and to refrain from interfering in its internal affairs. I am surprised how did Pannu get citizenship in US. For most US bound Indian immigrants go through a rigorous security check which takes years to ensure that the immigrant is not a criminal and a terrorist. Since GOI had labeled Pannun as a terrorist, how did he get American citizenship and addresses a declared terrorist as Mr? Pannun kept threatening India without fearing the consequences. India has repeatedly requested the US authorities to take action against him, but there has been no positive response.

Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA) special court had issued Non-Bailable Warrants against him in November 2022. Two of his Punjab-based properties were confiscated by the NIA in September this year. A case was also filed against Pannun on November 20 for a November 4 video in which he appeared to make death threats to Sikhs traveling on Air India after November 19 (to coincide with the Cricket World Cup final).

US has No Borders to eliminate Terrorists

On May 2, 2011, Osama bin Laden, the founder and first leader of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda, was shot and killed at his compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad by United States Navy SEALs code named Operation ‘Neptune Spear’ and similarly the US has killed the leader of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in a drone strike in Afghanistan. He was killed in a counter-terrorism operation carried out by the CIA in the Afghan capital Kabul. He and Osama Bin Laden plotted the 9/11 attacks together, and he was one of America’s most wanted terrorists. President Biden said al-Zawahiri had “carved a trail of murder and violence against American citizens”. US can violate international borders and air space to eliminate terrorists who threaten their citizens or interests. However, the US, the country that claims to be against terrorism, are not only sheltering but actively protecting Khalistani terrorists and allowing them to threaten India from the American soil.

Pannun and Nijjar were associates, and following his murder in Canada, Pannun became more active, issuing threats to Indian diplomats and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Posters calling for the assassination of Indian diplomats were raised in Canada and the UK.  Furthermore, posters appeared in Surrey, Canada, demanding the arrest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Pannun remained at the center of such threats, but the US government decided not to act against him.

Is it the USA PATRIOT Act that give the US the right to punish terrorists around the world not caring for the international borders? President Biden after the Hamas attack; “You know, history has taught us that when terrorists don’t pay a price for their terror, they cause more chaos and death and more destruction.  They keep going, and the cost and the threats to America and to the world keep rising.” And others are questioned and warned before the truth even gets exposed. Reminds of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein’s WMDs which were never to have been found and a nation was destroyed in their role of ‘Global Policing’.

Patial RC

Patial RC is a retired Infantry officer of the Indian Army and possesses unique experience of serving in active CI Ops across the country and in Sri Lanka. Patial RC is a regular writer on military and travel matters in military professional journals. The veteran is a keen mountaineer and a trekker.

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