India and the United States can work through differences without derailing the broader cooperative agenda, the United States’ Principal Deputy National Security Adviser Jonathan Finer in New Delhi on Monday, reported The Hindu.
This was the first visit of a United States official to India after Washington DC charged an Indian national named Nikhil Gupta in connection with his alleged participation in a thwarted plot to assassinate Khalistan supporter Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in New York City.
Finer on Monday led a delegation to New Delhi for a review of the US-India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology with his counterpart Deputy National Security Adviser Vikram Misri. He also held meetings with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra.
“There are many difficult issues that remain in [the India-US] relationship, right up to the present day,” the US official said while speaking at a Global Technology Summit organised by India’s foreign ministry and think tank Carnegie India. “But what we have demonstrated, I think, throughout the course of not just this administration, to bring us to the point where not only can we seize some of the important opportunities that the world presents for us, geopolitically and economically, but we can work through our differences in a constructive way.”
Without referring directly to the US indictment, Jaishankar said that India and the US had maintained their relationships over the past two decades and five different US presidents.
“The data clearly indicates a certain stability and that there is enough investment on both sides and structural soundness to the relationship,” Jaishankar said. “From an Indian perspective, India-US relations are certainly proofed against political checks.”
After Finer’s meetings with Misri and Jaishankar, the White House confirmed that they had discussed the charged against Gupta.
“Finer acknowledged India’s establishment of a committee of enquiry to investigate lethal plotting in the United States and the importance of holding accountable anyone found responsible,” read a US statement.
On November 29, the US Department of Justice alleged that Gupta had been recruited by an Indian government employee, who “directed a plot to assassinate on US soil an attorney and political activist who is a US citizen of Indian origin residing in New York City”. It has also claimed that the unsuccessful plot was part of a larger conspiracy to kill one person in California and at least three in Canada.
Following this, India said it has constituted a high-level inquiry committee to examine the United States’ inputs. A statement by the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that India will take action based on the findings of the inquiry committee.