New Delhi: US Principal Deputy NSA Jonathan Finer conveyed to New Delhi the importance of holding accountable anyone found responsible in the probe announced by India to investigate an alleged Indian link to a foiled plot to kill a Sikh separatist on American soil.
As Finer wrapped up his high-profile visit to India, the White House said Finer “acknowledged” India’s establishment of a committee of enquiry to investigate the “lethal plotting” and underlined the need for holding accountable those responsible.
“Finer acknowledged India’s establishment of a committee of enquiry to investigate lethal plotting in the United States and the importance of holding accountable anyone found responsible,” it said in a readout while referring to his meetings in the national capital.
Finer also discussed with his Indian interlocutors the plans for a post-conflict Gaza and a “pathway toward a two-state solution”, it said.
The senior White House official met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, NSA Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra and held extensive talks with Deputy NSA Vikram Misri.
Finer led a US delegation for an intersessional review of the US-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) with Misri. The two sides carried out the review on Monday.
His visit to New Delhi came days after American prosecutors linked an Indian official to a man charged with conspiring to assassinate Sikh separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.
India on Thursday described as a “matter of concern” the US linking the Indian official to a man charged with conspiring to kill Pannun, and asserted that follow up action will be taken based on findings of an inquiry panel investigating the allegations.
India has already constituted a probe team to investigate the allegations.
Last week, the US federal prosecutors charged Nikhil Gupta, 52, of working with an Indian government employee in the conspiracy to kill Pannun.
The US readout said besides review of the iCET, Finer conducted bilateral and regional consultations with Misri, Minister Jaishankar, NSA Doval, and Foreign Secretary Kwatra for in-depth discussions aimed at strengthening “coordination and policy alignment” across the Indo-Pacific, including the wider Indian Ocean region.
“They discussed the Middle East, including the recent attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea and the importance of safeguarding freedom of commercial navigation, as well as plans for a post-conflict Gaza and a pathway toward a two-state solution,” it said.
India has also been pushing for a ‘two-state’ solution to the Palestine issue.
In an address at a conclave last night, Finer said the US and India have established a mature relationship that enables both sides to identify opportunities and work through the differences.
He said the US and India have a “complicated history” and they have not always been “wholly aligned”.
Finer said there are many “difficult issues” that remained in the relationship “right up to the present day”.
At the same time, he said there is a bipartisan view in the US that both countries must seize some important opportunities that the world presents to the two sides both geopolitically and economically.
“I think the US and India have a complicated history. We have not always been wholly aligned. We have not always found it easy to work together as economic partners; we have not always found it easy to be on the same side on issues geopolitically,” he said.
“I think in some ways the most important step forward for the US and India is recognising on each side that there is much more that connects us than divides us,” he said.
The Biden Administration official said it is not that both sides will agree on everything and that there are many “difficult issues” that remained in the relationship “right up to the present day”.
However, he did not elaborate on the difficult issues.