Home Editorial Editorial: India’s Illegal Killings

Editorial: India’s Illegal Killings

A recent Guardian report alleging Delhi’s role in assassinations on Pakistani soil can help Islamabad overcome Indian propaganda globally

by Editorial

File photo. Tolga Akmen—AFP

Since the return to power of the Afghan Taliban, militancy from across the Durand Line has spiked, with terrorists based in Afghanistan infiltrating into Pakistan and targeting security forces and civilians alike. In a recent report, London-based The Guardian highlighted how India is also utilizing this porous border for extrajudicial killings on Pakistani soil. “The Indian government assassinated individuals in Pakistan as part of a wider strategy to eliminate terrorists living on foreign soil, according to Indian and Pakistani intelligence operatives who spoke to the Guardian,” read the report, citing interviews with intelligence officials of both countries. It further noted that India’s Research & Analysis Wing (RAW), which answers directly to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had allegedly began to carry out assassinations abroad as part of an “emboldened approach to national security” after 2019.

The allegations published by The Guardian validate a January press conference by Pakistan Foreign Secretary Cyras Qazi, who had similarly linked India to a spate of assassinations in Pakistan and called on the global community to hold Delhi to account for its illegal actions. This followed both Washington and Ottawa accusing India of involvement in attacks on Sikh activists on their soil, leading to a deterioration in ties between Canada and Delhi.

The Guardian report refers to nearly 20 killings between 2020 and now, and cites conversations with Indian intelligence personnel as well as “detailed documentation” alleging RAW’s direct involvement in the assassinations. According to Islamabad, RAW orchestrated these killings through sleeper-cells mostly operating out of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), against payments of millions of rupees to local criminals or poor Pakistanis, who carry out the assassinations. It alleges that Indian agents also recruited jihadists for the murders after convincing them they were killing “infidels.”

The report, published by a globally renowned broadsheet, indicts the government of Narendra Modi in a manner Pakistan independently cannot and could well swerve international opinion against India. It has also made Pakistani diplomacy easier, particularly in Gulf states, where Indian propaganda most threatens Pakistan’s narrative. Whether Pakistan, beset by internal bickering and a persistent economic crisis, can avail the opportunity remains to be seen.

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