India is a strategic partner for the United States, the White House has said as it urged New Delhi to hold accountable those responsible for the plot to assassinate the Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who is an American citizen.
“India is a strategic partner. We’re deepening that strategic partnership. They’re a member of the Quad in the Pacific. We participate with them on a range of issues and we want to see that continue unabated. That said, at the same time, we certainly recognise the seriousness of these allegations,” National Security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters at a White House news conference.
Kirby was responding to a question on the impact that the alleged plot would have on the bilateral India-US relationship. “We want it fully investigated and those responsible to be held properly accountable,” he said.
“It’s under active investigation. We’ve said that we’re glad that our Indian counterparts are taking it seriously and doing that. We want those responsible for these attacks to be held fully accountable, but I won’t get ahead of an investigation that isn’t complete,” Kirby added.
Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of influential American Senators has criticised India after US prosecutors linked an Indian official to a man charged with the Pannun assassination plot.
The Senators were speaking at a Congressional hearing ‘Transnational Repression: A Global Threat to Rights and Security’ organised on Wednesday by the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
US federal prosecutors on November 29 charged Indian national Nikhil Gupta with working with an Indian government employee in the foiled plot to kill Pannun, who is an American and Canadian citizen.