In a world that champions the ideals of free speech and condemns hate speech, the West’s silence in the wake of Gurpatwant Singh Pannun’s open and violent death threats is both perplexing and concerning. Pannun, a designated Khalistani terrorist, has brazenly issued threats against the Chief Ministers of Delhi and Punjab, yet the international community remains shamefully silent.
What’s perplexing is this is not the first violent rant of Pannun’s. Last year he openly called for an attack on Air India flights, and subsequently he threatened an attack on the Indian parliament.
Free speech is a cornerstone of democratic societies, but it is not an unbridled license to spew hate speech and incite violence. Pannun’s recent video message, in which he threatens political death to Chief Ministers Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann if his associates are not released, should ring alarm bells not just in India but across the globe. As former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton astutely remarked, “You can’t have snakes in your backyard and expect them not to bite you.”
SFJ associates, Jagdish Singh, Manjeet Singh, and Davinder Singh, were apprehended by the State Special Operation Cell of Punjab Police. Pannun alleges they were working directly with the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) for Khalistan referendum’s voter registration. His threats are not isolated incidents; they are part of a pattern of violent rhetoric that poses a clear danger to the security and stability of the region.
The West’s silence on Pannun’s threats is particularly troubling given the global commitment to combating terrorism and ensuring the safety of nations. Pannun’s call for an attack on Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and Director General of Police Gaurav Yadav cannot be dismissed lightly. These are not idle words but dangerous incitements that have the potential to unleash chaos and destabilize the peace-loving citizens of Punjab and beyond.
While Chief Minister Mann has chosen not to take these threats seriously, the international community cannot afford to be as complacent. The West’s failure to condemn Pannun’s actions sends a troubling message — that terrorism and violent threats are tolerable if they are not occurring within one’s borders. Such a stance undermines the collective effort to ensure global security and stability.
It is essential for the West to acknowledge that free speech should never be a shield for those who exploit it to spread hate and advocate violence. The principles of democracy, which the West holds dear, must not be weaponized to shield terrorists and those who threaten political leaders with impunity.
As Pannun continues to openly defy the norms of civilized discourse, the West’s silence becomes increasingly conspicuous. The international community must stand united against all forms of terrorism, irrespective of geographical boundaries. The West cannot afford to turn a blind eye to Pannun’s brazen threats; doing so jeopardizes the very values it claims to uphold. It’s time for the West to break its silence and unequivocally condemn Pannun’s actions before his words translate into tragic consequences for the region and beyond.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Khalsa Vox or its members.