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Pannun case: US envoy steps in, says ‘Red Line’ should never be crossed

Eric Garcetti said that sometimes New Delhi and Washington can “agree to disagree” on certain things and it should not be viewed negatively.

Screenshot 2024 04 01 092236NEW DELHI: Eric Garcetti, the US Ambassador to India, has emphasised the collaborative effort between India and the United States in investigating the alleged assassination plot against Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. He stressed the importance of not crossing a ‘red line’ in bilateral relations.

“I think that’s absolutely critical. For any of us, just abstractly, that has to be a red line. No government or government employee can be involved in the alleged assassination of one of your own citizens. That’s just an unacceptable red line,” Garcetti said.

Any country, having an active member of their government involved in a second country trying to assassinate one of their citizens. That’s, I think, usually a red line for any country. That’s a basic issue of sovereignty. That’s a basic issue of rights,” he added.

Stating that religious freedom is an important part of any democracy, he said that sometimes New Delhi and Washington can “agree to disagree” on certain things and it should not be viewed negatively.

In a podcast interview with ANI, Garcetti highlighted the protection of free speech in the American system, even when it involves controversial statements like those made by Pannun. He reiterated that while freedom of speech is upheld, any criminal accusation must meet the threshold for a successful outcome in accordance with the law.

Regarding Pannun’s threats against India, including targeting Air India operations and the Indian Parliament, Garcetti condemned such actions. He noted Pannun’s status as an India-designated terrorist holding American and Canadian citizenship and emphasized the need for due process in addressing criminal accusations.

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