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‘False, malicious’: India denies allegations of assassinations in Pak


NEW DELHI: India has firmly rebutted claims of orchestrating assassinations in Pakistan, describing them as “false and malicious

anti-India propaganda

.” This response comes in light of allegations that the Indian government, through the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW), has been involved in nearly 20

killings in Pakistan

since 2020.
According to a report in UK paper the Guardian, citing Indian and Pakistani intelligence officials, that these actions were part of an emboldened approach to eliminate terrorists on foreign soil, including targeting Sikh separatists within the Khalistan movement.

The allegations point towards a strategy initiated post the Pulwama attack in 2019, aiming to neutralize threats before they materialize. According to two Indian intelligence officers, the shift to targeting dissidents abroad was influenced by global intelligence practices, drawing parallels with Mossad and the KGB. However, the ministry of external affairs has categorically denied these claims, reinforcing a previous statement by foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, that targeted killings abroad do not align with the government of India’s policy, the Guardian report claimed.
Pakistani investigators have suggested that these assassinations were conducted by Indian intelligence sleeper cells, mainly operating from the United Arab Emirates, employing local criminals or jihadists under false pretexts to execute the killings.

The Guardian report mentions the assassination of Zahid Akhund, known under the guise of Zahoor Mistry—a convicted terrorist implicated in a lethal hijack of an Air India aircraft. As per the Guardian, the documents from Pakistan indicate that an agent from RAW is accused of funding the gathering of intelligence on Akhund’s whereabouts and activities over several months. It’s claimed that significant sums of money were transferred to individuals from Afghanistan for the execution of the shooting in Karachi during March 2022. Following the act, they are said to have escaped across the national boundary, though their coordinators were apprehended by the security agencies of Pakistan later on.

A Pakistani official told Guardian: “This policy of Indian agents organising killings in Pakistan hasn’t been developed overnight. We believe they have worked for around two years to establish these sleeper cells in the UAE who are mostly organising the executions. After that, we began witnessing many killings.”
However, a former high-ranking official from RAW refuted the idea that the agency was involved in extrajudicial killings. As per the Guardian, he asserted that such actions would not occur without the awareness of the national security adviser, who would in turn inform the prime minister, and sometimes, they would directly communicate with the prime minister. “I could not do anything without their approval,” he said.
He suggested that the killings were probably executed by Pakistan, a sentiment that has been shared by others within India.
India remains steadfast in its denial, the Guardian said.

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