The Washington Post's report which has allegedly linked foiled plot to kill Khalistani terrorist Pannun with India, has apparently overlooked the fact that New Delhi has set up a high-level committee to probe into the matter and despite this, if the US daily blames it then it means it is not able to cast aside its prejudices against the country that has made a significant progress—economically and technologically in the past 10 years
Last week, timed to perfection with general elections in India, The Washington Post published an article on the foiled plot to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a US-Canadian citizen who is the supposed spokesperson of the SFJ (Sikhs for Justice), an organization pushing for an independent Khalistan.  Pannun has been designated as a terrorist by India under the anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The SFJ has instigated attacks on Indian diplomatic assets and has also threatened its diplomatic staff in the US, the UK and Canada. The article linked Pannun’s attempted assassination to the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada as also killings of J&K and Khalistani terrorists in Pakistan.
While Nijjar’s case remains under investigation by Canadian authorities, no one has been arrested for the killings in Pakistan. However, both Ottawa and Islamabad blame Indian RAW (Research and Analysis Wing), which New Delhi denies.
The Washington Post has squarely targeted RAW, ignoring the fact that India has denied its involvement as also no proof has been provided. The article, written by established Indian baiters, claims that the RAW officer involved in the failed attempt on Pannun was Vikram Yadav, on deputation with the agency. It said the plot was approved by then RAW chief, Samant Goel, sans proof.
As expected, the report is based on ‘anonymous sources.’ Mentioning the involvement of the RAW chief without a shred of evidence, is aimed at discrediting the current government during ongoing elections as also degrading Indo-US ties.
Moreover, the intent of the Washington Post to impact India’s credibility gets crystal clear from select extracts from the article. A sentence in the US daily, says, “The revelations have added to Western concerns about Modi, whose tenure has been marked by economic growth and rising global stature for India, but also deepening authoritarianism.”
The world acknowledges India as the largest democracy, but the Washington Post thinks otherwise. It ignores the fact that the world’s largest elections are peacefully underway in India.
The article further states, “A recent report by Freedom House, a human rights organization, listed India among the world’s practitioners of “transnational repression,” a term for governments’ use of intimidation or violence against their own citizens — dissidents, activists, journalists — in others’ sovereign territory.”
It compares India to “repressive regimes” like China, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia etc. But it does not term the US and Pakistan, who have been involved in similar killings, as repressive regimes. The report adds that India acted because it believed itself as a “rising player” in global geopolitics, which even the “the US cannot afford to alienate.”
It quotes an unnamed US security official mentioning that India did so knowing “they would get away with it.” The anti-India stance is evident. New Delhi refusing to toe Western nations’ line is anathema for many US and European countries’ media houses. The Indian government responded forcefully. “The report in question makes unwarranted and unsubstantiated imputations on a serious matter,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said.
He added that an investigation was ongoing and as such, making “Speculative and irresponsible comments on it (ongoing investigation) are not helpful.” India has instituted a high-level inquiry into the incident and is regularly sharing inputs with the US.
The US State Department spokesperson responded to a question on the article, by stating, “We'll also continue to raise our concerns directly with the Indian Government at senior levels, but beyond that, I'm not going to parse this further.” Evidently, the White House and key US officials intend to keep the incident on the sidelines as relations grow.
India has several months ago provided detailed inputs of those behind attacks on its San Francisco consulate to the US. Thus far the US claims police investigations are ongoing. India, on its own, has acted and confiscated property of Khalistan activists and those involved in attacks on its diplomatic assets.  
Close on the heels of The Washington Post’s anti-India article, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation came out with an article, claiming that two RAW agents (spies) were ordered to leave the country in 2020.
The timing of the release of this report is suspicious--coming after four years, but timed with the Washington Post piece.  The ABC said, “Indian spies were kicked out of Australia after being caught trying to steal secrets about sensitive defence projects and airport security, as well as classified information on Australia’s trade relationships.”
These write ups clearly show the intent of Western media; it wants to lower the image of India in the world as in the past 10 years, it has made a significant stride--economically, technologically, and militarily.
*** The writer is a security and strategic affairs commentator; views expressed here are his own