India on Thursday rejected as “false and malicious” propaganda Islamabad’s allegations that linked “Indian agents” to the killing of two Pakistani citizens in Pakistan’s Sialkot and Rawalakot last year.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry claimed earlier on Thursday that it had “credible evidence” linking “Indian agents” to the assassination of two of its nationals, Shahid Latif and Riyaz Ahmad. The two, associated with terror groups Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Lashkar-e-Taiba, were wanted terrorists in India.

New Delhi was carrying out “extra-territorial and extra-judicial killings” inside Pakistan, alleged Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi.

While the Indian External Affairs Ministry’s comments did not refer to the Pakistani allegations, it said that it had seen media reports regarding “certain remarks by Pakistan foreign secretary”.

“It is Pakistan’s latest attempt at peddling false and malicious anti-India propaganda,” ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said in a statement. “As the world knows, Pakistan has long been the epicentre of terrorism, organised crime, and illegal transnational activities. India and many other countries have publicly warned Pakistan cautioning that it would be consumed by its own culture of terror and violence.”

Jaiswal said that “Pakistan will reap what it sows”. “To blame others for its own misdeeds can neither be a justification nor a solution,” he added.

Latif, a key aide of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, was the alleged mastermind of the 2016 attack on the Indian Air Force base in Punjab’s Pathankot, PTI reported. He was shot dead in a mosque in Sialkot on October 11.

Ahmad, a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative, was allegedly the main conspirator behind the Dhangri terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir in January 2023, reported PTI. He was killed in Rawalakot in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on September 8.

Similar allegations by US and Canada

In September, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had told his country’s parliament that intelligence agencies were actively pursuing “credible allegations” linking agents of the Indian government to the death of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was killed by masked gunmen on June 18 near Vancouver.

New Delhi had rejected Canada’s allegations as “absurd and motivated”. The Indian government also described it as Ottawa’s attempt to shift focus from “Khalistani terrorists and extremists who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

On November 29, the United States Attorney’s Office in Southern District of New York, also announced that it had filed “murder-for-hire charges” against an Indian national named Nikhil Gupta in connection with his alleged participation in a thwarted plot to assassinate a Sikh separatist leader in New York.

Though the statement did not name the leader, a report in the Financial Times on November 23 had identified him as Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

India constituted a high-level inquiry committee to examine the inputs. The external affairs ministry had said that New Delhi is taking the inputs from the United States seriously “since it impinges on our own national security interests as well”.

Like Pannun, Nijjar was among the most wanted persons in India. Their organisations advocate for Khalistan, an independent country for Sikhs and are banned in India.