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US-India relations: Sibal alleges mediatic manipulation

US-India relations may be at risk says Sibal

A controversial article in the Financial Times (FT) puts US-India relations at risk, detailing an FBI-thwarted plot to assassinate the known terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on US soil by suspected Indian agents has garnered attention in the Indian media. With a perceived anti-Indian stance, the FT article, authored by a journalist with a strong Hong Kong connection, raises questions about its credibility. The narrative, woven from bits of information from unidentified sources, is criticized for being laden with innuendos, insinuations, and surmises says Kanwal Sibal a retired Indian diplomat in his oped published on NDTV. Sibal, a well respected analyst, has been former Foreign Secretary and Ambassador of India to Turkey, Egypt, France, and Russia, and Deputy Chief Of Mission in Washington.

Local indian press, assuming the article’s veracity, amplifies it to serve the objectives of those allegedly behind it, aiming to put India on the defensive against unsubstantiated US allegations. The perceived intention is to tarnish India’s image as a law-abiding democracy, questioning its adherence to the rule of law. The broader implication is that India may not be considered a fully deserving partner for certain circles within the country’s establishment.

India faces scrutiny in US political, media, and academic circles for alleged human rights violations, with the US government raising concerns despite its own challenges. The narrative connects India’s purported attempt to eliminate a US citizen with a broader disregard for human rights norms. The questionable leak of information and the journalist’s method of piecing together the story are subjects of inquiry.

The credibility of the journalist’s sources is difficult to judge, relying solely on professional integrity, raising doubts about both the journalist and the newspaper. The journalist’s apparent delight in obtaining a scoop and bold advertising on social media are considered abnormal behavior.

The choice of the Financial Times (FT) to publish the story involving the US and India prompts scrutiny. Notably, Chyrstia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister of Canada and a former FT editor, raises questions about potential connections. Drawing parallels with the Nijjar killing incident, the tactics of leaking the story and seeking a reaction from the US National Security Council (NSC) come under scrutiny.

The narrative-building strategy involves leaking the story, prompting a reaction from the US NSC. A vague statement from spokesperson Adrienne Watson indicates the issue has been raised with India, leading to a response from India regarding shared information on organized crime, gun running, and terrorism.

Considering the fallout from the Canada episode and the capacities of the Five Eyes, questions arise about why the Indian government would risk involvement in a US citizen’s killing on US soil, jeopardizing India-US ties. The government’s common sense is questioned, emphasizing the need for a nuanced approach.

The episode underscores the West’s power to shape global narratives through media outlets like FT. The Western media’s judgmental and politically biased reporting on non-Western countries perpetuates a colonialist mindset. The dominance of the Anglosphere media plays a crucial role in influencing global perceptions.

The FT article’s coverage in the Indian media, despite its questionable content, reflects the power of agenda-setting by the Anglosphere media. The episode prompts a broader examination of the influence wielded by Western media in shaping global narratives and emphasizes the importance of critical media literacy and independent perspectives.