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Pannun Affair — America's Double Standard

A closer look at the dynamics of India's security paradigm, plagued by double standards of the West

December 11, 2023 By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd) Photo(s): By X, Wikipedia
The Author is Former Director General of Information Systems and A Special Forces Veteran, Indian Army


On December 6, 2023, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, founder of Sikh separatist organization 'Sikhs For Justice (SFJ)', released a video message threatening to shake the very foundation of the Indian Parliament on December 13 - the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attack on Parliament. In the video, which also had a photo of the 2001 Parliament attack convict 'Afzal Guru', the weasel-lookalike Pannu claimed that the Narendra Modi government tried to kill him and threatened to respond on December 13. Pannun, credibly accused of being on the payroll of Pakistan's ISI and possibly was Afzal's bumchum.

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun

The significant point here is that if a terrorist in India threatens to blow up Capitol Hill, the POTUS Joe Biden and senate members would climb atop the senate building shouting that the Indian Government should resign and the terrorist be handed over to US authorities. But Mathew Miller, US State Department spokesman Mathew Miller has the gumption to say that Pannun threatened to shake the foundations of the Indian Parliament 'because' India was plotting to have him killed. How more sic and insolent can the US be?

Just before being shot by own guards, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi accused CIA of aiding Sikh militancy to destabilise India (source Twitter). Little wonder why FBI Director Christopher A. Wray is visiting India; to solicit Pannun - top queen of CIA. Also explains why Eric Garcetti is posted as Ambassador at Delhi.

Not only is Pannun a "listed terrorist", he publicly asked Sikhs not to fly on Air India planes on November 4 and after November 19, warning their "lives could be under threat" He also threatened Air India's global blockade - closure of the airline's operations from November 19. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has registered a case against Pannun under sections 120B, 153A and 506 of the Indian Penal Code.

On December 6, 2023, Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun threatened to shake the foundations of the Indian Parliament on December 13, accusing the Indian government of attempting to assassinate him.

The Delhi Police went on high alert after terrorist Pannun's threat, with the Parliament in session. A senior police officer told the media, "No one will be allowed to disturb law and order. When Parliament is on, we remain alert. We are taking all precautionary measures to prevent any untoward incident." He also said security is beefed up throughout Delhi.

It is not without reason America's so-called "Rule-based Order" is considered a "Rogue-based Order". America's accusations are in the backdrop of CIA involvement in killing India's nuclear physics Dr Homi J. Bhabha in Air India's Kanishka bombing, plus killings/deaths of many Indian nuclear scientists subsequently.

In his article 'The CIA has a long history of helping to kill leaders around the world', published in 'The Guardian' on May 5, 2017, Scottish journalist Ewen MacAskill described how the CIA has been using biochemical-radiological substances, nano poisons, bombings and drone attacks for assassinations abroad (source The Guardian).

The US State Department's response to Pannun's threat, points out a perceived double standard compared to how the US would react to a similar threat in their own country.

William Blum, US historian who has worked in the US State Department, wrote, "Since 1945, US has tried to overthrow more than 50 governments, many of them democratically elected; grossly interfered in 30 countries; bombed the civilian population of 30 countries; interfered in elections in 30 countries; used chemical and biological weapons; and attempted to assassinate foreign leaders. "In many cases Britain has been a collaborator".

Hardeep Singh Nijjar

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a number of Khalistan supporters in his cabinet. Trudeau accused India for killing Haradeep Singh Nijjar several months after Nijjar was killed. But Canada did nothing when India communicated details of Nijjar's terrorist activities in 2014.

A Canadian inquiry commission implicated Canada-based Babbar Khalsa for bombing Air India Flight 182 killing 329 on board in June 1985, and planting bomb on another Air India flight that killed two in Japan. The inquiry pointed out a series of errors by the Canadian Government, police and security intelligence service that allowed the bombings, but again, the follow up by Canada to punish those responsible was pathetic to say the least.

Canada is a haven for international terrorists. Pentagon for the sixth consecutive year has failed to account for $1.9 trillion of its $3.8 trillion in assets warmongering, assassinations and black ops?

The US Justice Department has accused Indian national Nikhil Gupta (paid by India) for plotting the assassination of Pannun. Apparently, the assassin being hired by Gupta was an undercover US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent who kept playing Gupta to collect evidence. US Attorney Damian Williams and Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen went hyper accusing India and alleging Gupta, although not naming him specifically. In all probability, the DEA agent was tasked by the CIA to lure Gupta into believing that Pannun can be eliminated at a certain cost. Pannun is reportedly linked to the narcotics trade same as Nijjar. The DEA agent (name not revealed) was probably in touch with Pannun and drawing his own pound of flesh.

US has been trying to influence India's ties with Russia amid the Ukraine war, aiming for India to align more closely with the US and NATO, despite existing defence deals and trade partnerships.

From the very beginning of the Ukraine war, America has been trying to sever India's ties with Russia. This is despite the US bagging big defence deals from India and was India's largest trade partner in 2022-2023. But America wants India to sign on the dotted line and join the US-NATO camp.

It is also no big deal to fabricate "credible evidence" with Pegasus-like spyware combined with Artificial Intelligence. Confronting Gupta with the fabricated evidence and letting him get out of the country made the evidence "more" credible. The CIA also banked on the timid response from India, which proved right with India instituting a high-level inquiry committee to look into all relevant aspects and necessary follow-up.

Canada refused to hand over Noor Chowdhury who admitted being one of the killers of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman in 1975. The US continues stonewalling extradition of Pakistani-origin Canadian Tahawwur Rana to India; involved in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks killing 140 including Americans, British and Israelis. Is a prison sentence enough for David Coleman Headley looking at the carnage in Mumbai?

India needs to take charge of the situation and tell both US and Canada to get off the high horse. Gupta is not an Indian diplomat and Pannun is not dead so what is the big deal. The CIA was behind the killing of Homi J. Bhabha and many Indian nuclear scientists. If R&AW offices are being shut in the US, then CIA operatives in the US embassy and consulates in India should get out too. America has been carrying out assassinations, like of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, so what is the big deal about Pannun even if he is a principal source of the CIA.

Indian bureaucrats and policy makers must acknowledge America is global version of the village goon who will mount on your head if you don't look him in the eye. The US wants an India-China war to use India as Ukraine of the Indo-Pacific. Today, the US needs India more than the vice versa; there is no need to continue playing soft, which is the bane of India.