The Failed Assassination Affecting US-India Relations

In November 2023, the New York Times reported on “a New York Hit Job”. The “job” was an assassination targeting a lawyer identified as Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. Pannun is part of a group called Sikhs for Justice. News reports indicated that Nikhil Gupta on behalf of the Indian Government,  was responsible for organising the assassination, straining US-India relations. However, the hit job failed as the assassin Gupta attempted to hire worked with the US government. Nikhil was later charged with murder for hire and conspiracy to commit murder by hire. This incident challenges President Biden’s foreign policy agenda of keeping India an ally. Particularly to counter Russian and Chinese Influence. It also puts under question the administration’s evaluation of the future of India’s progress towards democracy. 

Key Judgement 1. The Biden administration is likely to continue fostering a relationship with India with a cautious and firm denunciation of assassination attempts. 

Key Judgement 2. The Indian Government will likely seek alternative methods to intimidate external opposition figures despite international scrutiny.

Key Judgement 3. US and Canadian intelligence agencies will likely collaborate closely to prevent future assassination attempts orchestrated by the Indian government. 

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