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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India’s covert operations involving the assassination plot of a Sikh separatist leader have sparked global diplomatic tensions and raised serious concerns about regional stability and human rights.

The Washington Post has reported a disturbing revelation about a web of political intrigue and covert operations involving Vikram Yadav, an officer in RAW, India’s spy agency, and a plot to assassinate Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a prominent Sikh separatist leader.

This story unfolds against a backdrop of global geopolitics, revealing the intricate actions that have sent shockwaves worldwide. The Washington Post exposé reveals that Yadav was involved in assembling a “hit team” to carry out the murder in the United States, further complicating the narrative. Diplomatic circles have been astonished to learn that a senior government official supported the operation. It demonstrates India’s resolute pursuit of its objectives beyond international borders, raising significant global concerns.

Upon further investigation, a complex web of affiliations emerges, attracting the attention of high-ranking personnel within RAW, including the former chief Samant Goel. Ajit Doval, the National Security Advisor to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is also a subject of suspicion, suggesting a more extensive network of influence within the corridors of power in India. The failed attempt to harm Pannun is just one instance within a broader trend of hostility directed at Sikh dissidents across the globe. This scheme is intricately linked to a series of violent incidents targeting Sikh activists, both in North America and internationally, exposing the far-reaching influence of RAW and its disconcerting consequences.

As a middle power, India is strategically situated to exert considerable influence on a global scale by effectively managing its values, interests, and international obligations. However, the recent disclosure of India’s covert actions has placed the United States in a precarious diplomatic stance. Responding to these revelations without compromising bilateral relations presents a significant challenge. William J. Burns, director of the CIA, is leading efforts to hold India accountable.

Meanwhile, RAW’s station commander in Ottawa has been expelled by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has publicly accused India of complicity in the assassination of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. These actions demonstrate Canada’s firm opposition to India’s covert operations.

Prime Minister Modi has effectively utilized allegations against him to strengthen his political reputation, evading diplomatic repercussions and worldwide criticism. His rhetoric of a ‘New India‘ appeals to his followers, but doubts remain regarding his government’s role in cross-border oppression. Modi’s firm foreign policy position has influenced India’s ties with its neighbors, notably Pakistan. Since 2014, his resolute commitment to preventing the normalization of transnational terrorism has been a defining characteristic of India’s strategy.

The repercussions of these recent discoveries are highly concerning. A troubling pattern is forming, accompanied by rumors of additional targets and the threat of more significant violence. In response, robust international cooperation and immediate action are required to safeguard sovereignty and human rights. Those accountable for these infractions must face legal consequences. Prompt and severe sanctions, such as scrutiny by the International Criminal Court, are necessary. Our commitment to safeguarding international law and preserving global peace must remain unwavering.

Concerns about India’s clandestine activities have been raised, potentially exacerbating regional tensions and security challenges. These claims could disrupt millions of lives and worsen current problems, including the Kashmir conflict, as well as strain relations with Pakistan. The allegations may also contribute to domestic turmoil in India, bolstering the Khalistan movement’s call for an autonomous Sikh state. India’s actions may escalate tensions with other nations, affecting global trade, diplomacy, and partnerships. The international community is keenly monitoring these events.

Human rights groups and the UN may investigate India’s conduct. Furthermore, the increased pressure for accountability at the International Criminal Court can potentially harm India’s credibility on the world stage. India’s clandestine actions jeopardize regional stability, domestic peace, and its international standing, in addition to straining bilateral relations.

Abdul Mussawer Safi is an author at various platforms such as Modern Diplomacy, Kashmir Watch, and Eurasia Review. He is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in International Relations from National Defense University. He has a profound interest in world politics, especially in the regional dynamics of South Asia. His academic strengths are critical and SWOT analysis.