December 8, 2023
NEW DELHI – External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday that India has instituted an inquiry and set up an inquiry committee to look into inputs received from the US, after Washington alleged an Indian link to a foiled plot to kill a Sikh separatist on its soil.
Mr Jaishankar was replying to a supplementary question by Mr John Brittas (CPI-M), although the main question related to foreign visits by Indian Ministers. Mr Brittas said India had instituted an inquiry following US inputs, but rebutted charges made by Canada.
The Minister said inputs were received from the US as part of security cooperation with the country, and they were of concern to India, as they related to a nexus of organized crime, trafficking and other matters. Since it had a bearing on India’s national security, it was decided to constitute an inquiry, and it has been constituted.
In so far as Canada is concerned, he said, no specific evidence or inputs were provided and so the question of equitable treatment to the US and Canada, one of which provided inputs and one did not do so, does not arise.
Mr Jaishankar said visits by Union Ministers are means to foster closer relations with foreign countries and promote India’s multi-faceted engagements at bilateral, regional and global level.
He said the Ministers attended gatherings organised by the Indian diaspora during their visits. The diaspora had contributed to India’s good image abroad, and it did not matter whether the gatherings were organised by BJP’s overseas bodies.
The Minister said India was paying due attention to relations with Latin American countries with which Indian trade had increased substantially. India had pursued with Sri Lanka the issue of the welfare of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
He said through Ministers’ visits abroad, “we convey India’s viewpoint and shape the agenda at bilateral, regional and global levels on issues such as peace and security; climate change; reformed multilateralism; transnational crime and terrorism,” besides emerging technology and cyber security and evacuation of Indian nationals and diaspora issues, among others.