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Alleged assassination attempt on US soil a challenge for Modi and Biden

Dec 27, 2023


In November 2023, U.S. federal prosecutors filed charges against Nikhil Gupta, an Indian national, accusing him of murder for hire and conspiracy to commit murder for hire. The alleged attempt to assassinate a Sikh separatist on U.S. soil poses a challenge for both India Prime Minister Modi and U.S. President Biden as they seek to strengthen ties amid growing concerns about China.

Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan speculates on the impact of the thwarted plot on U.S. and Indian relations. Zeihan suggests the possibility that the assassination attempt might have occurred without the Indian government being aware or involved.

Excerpted from Peter’s Dec. 27 “Zeihan on Geopolitics” newsletter:

A U.S. federal grand jury has voted to issue indictments against a handful of ethnic Indians (with alleged ties to the Indian government) who the U.S. Department of Justices claims participated in an assassination program in North America.

This program has reportedly targeted individuals alleged to support Sikh separatist groups in India. As a result, one Canadian citizen has been killed, and the program has targeted an American resident with dual American-Canadian citizenship.

If there is any validity behind these claims, relations between India and North America will need some patching up.

Hey everybody, Peter Zion here coming to you from my bed because I’ve thrown out my back. And I’m going to be here for a couple of days. With the news, aside from that, is that there’s a lot of foot in relations between Canada, the United States and India. Recently, the United States has issued an indictment of a number of folks in India many with ties to the government for an assassination program in North America, which, according to the Americans has killed at least one Canadian citizen, and targeted on successfully some with dual American Canadian citizenship. Both these people are ethnic Indians. And as the indictment goes, there are factions within the Indian government who have used state resources to set up a murder program in North America and take out folks that they say, are supporting separatism in India. Now, the reality of the situation on the ground in India is that six separatism peaked probably back in the 1980s. Not that it wasn’t serious than it was, but no one’s really been talking about in any sort of meaningful way, in the last 20 years, unless you happen to be an ultra nationalist. And the BJP, which is the ruling party in India, in is pretty much a shoo in at this point for re election next year. Has a severely Ultra nationalist faction. And that means we got to pick this apart a little bit. Okay, first of all, a lot of the negative stereotypes about India, when it comes to things like government inefficiency, are true. A lot of societies think of government as a cash cow where you get jobs that don’t necessarily have to do anything. And there’s going to be some truth to that in any society. But in India, it’s particularly robust because we do have the world’s largest administration. And oftentimes, it’s considered a minor miracle if anything gets done, because there are so many clashing authorities not just between the local the state and the national government, but within the different bureaus of the national government. And the government is absolutely treated as a cash cow for whoever the ruling party or parties happened to be. And in that sense, the BJP is no exception. But what that means is, as a rule, getting anything done within the Indian government, especially when involves foreign security policy, is next to impossible because the institutions are just so lethargic and overpopulated in under supported. What that means is, whoever did this, it’s entirely possible that it was done without the knowledge of the BGP leadership in general, the prime minister in particular, Modi, the Prime Minister is certainly a nationalist himself, but he’s not like advocating going out and killing someone else’s citizens on a different continent. But it’s perfectly reasonable to expect that there’s a faction of the BJP, who is ultra nationalist who has used through links to the state now to launch something like this independent of the federal government. When Justin Trudeau first announced almost in passing, that a Canadian citizen had been killed by alien agents, you know, sparked a bit of an uproar. But then the Canadian started releasing details about the people who did it. And to be perfectly blunt, a lot of them were kind of chubby. And you know, the world of international espionage is many things, but it doesn’t spend a lot of time at the buffet at Caesar’s Palace. These are folks that have to be reluctant pretty much get up and go ers and Chip stirs are not known for being particularly agile assassins. So you know, they got caught, both in Canada and in the United States in particular. And now the question is, what is this going to mean for relations? Now, if this theory is correct, that this was just kind of a rogue faction within the political sphere, as opposed to actual professional intelligence agents, that in someone’s head can be put on a platter? When it was just Canada and maybe some countries quietly back in Canada, that was one thing. But when they moved into the United States and attempted to kill someone, oh, oh, my. Even at the height of the Cold War, the Soviets would have never even dreamed of that, even with relations as bad as they have become with the Chinese, the Chinese would never even think about going after an American citizen in America. But apparently there was someone in India thought they were exempt. And you know, that’s a hard pause. You can suck up a lot in great power politics, when it comes to the treatment of your allies. But if someone’s coming after your citizens, that’s a very different sort of picture. And that generates broad spectrum retaliation. And if this is a proto ally like India, maybe to the United States, that pretty much sinks all statement ship options between the two countries right there. So I would guess, especially if this theory is correct, is over the course of the next few weeks, tensions are going We need to cool the Canadians are already being fairly smug about saying that they’ve already cooled quite a bit now that the United States is directly involved, Canadians love to be smug. And eventually someone will be Karl pulled to the carpet, maybe not publicly, but in the eyes of the governments in the United States and in Canva. We know that this is something that has drawn attention from the very top because the White House in the United States has now leaked that Joe Biden actually talked to Prime Minister Modi about it at the last big summit. I think it was the G 20. Summit. So this is now a top tier issue. And if Modi is serious about wanting to have a partnership with the United States, in order to get better defense equipment, because they now know Russian equipment sucks, or to have a friend against the Chinese, should anything break down there? Well, you know, you don’t go to view your potential allies homelet and start killing people. I’m sorry, this is just rude. So this is probably not going to exactly get swept up under the rug. We will probably have someone who has to pay and they will probably be an extradition before all is said and done. But that doesn’t mean that it has to be loud. Unless of course they tried to kill someone else in which case all bets are off.

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