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Pakistan has ‘credible evidence’ of India links to killings of 2 Pakistanis | Politics News

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Pakistan says the method of assassination was similar to attempts in Canada and the United States.

Pakistan has said it has “credible evidence” that links Indian agents to the killings of two Pakistani citizens on Pakistan’s soil.

“These are killings-for-hire cases involving a sophisticated international setup spread over multiple jurisdictions,” Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Muhammad Syrus Qazi told reporters on Thursday.

Qazi identified the two men killed as Shahid Latif and Muhammad Riaz, who were shot dead in separate incidents last year.

Riaz was shot dead during morning prayers in a mosque in Rawalakot in Pakistan-administered Kashmir in September, he said.

Latif was killed outside a mosque in the city of Sialkot in Punjab in October.

Qazi said that the method of assassination was similar to attempts in Canada and the United States.

Last year, Canada and the US separately accused Indian agents of being linked to assassination attempts in their countries.

India’s ministry of foreign affairs rejected the allegations, which it described as “false and malicious” in a post on X.

Last year, tensions between Canada and India rose significantly after the killing of a Sikh separatist on Canadian soil.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly linked Indian intelligence agencies to the death of Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar, an allegation that New Delhi called “absurd”.

Nijjar, who had been advocating for a separate Sikh state in India, was wanted by Indian authorities for alleged “terrorism” and conspiracy to commit murder.

In the US, an Indian national was charged with plotting to assassinate a Sikh separatist leader on US soil, the US Department of Justice said in November.

The murder-for-hire charges against Nikhil Gupta, 52, “in connection with his participating in a foiled plot to assassinate a US citizen” of Indian origin in New York City, it said in a statement.

The man was targeted for allegedly being “a vocal critic of the Indian government and leads a US-based organisation that advocates for the secession of Punjab”.

A sign asking for an investigation on India’s role in the killing of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar is seen at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara temple, in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, September 20, 2023 [File: Chris Helgren/Reuters]

In an interview with the Financial Times in December, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that his government would investigate any evidence connected to the plot to assassinate a US citizen.

“If someone gives us any information, we would definitely look into it,” he said.

“If a citizen of ours has done anything good or bad, we are ready to look into it. Our commitment is to the rule of law.”

Following his comments, Canada’s Trudeau said the US indictment had softened India’s stance towards Canada.

“I think there is a beginning of an understanding that they can’t bluster their way through this and there is an openness to collaborating in a way that perhaps they were less open before,” he said.

“There’s an understanding that maybe, maybe just churning out attacks against Canada isn’t going to make this problem go away.”


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