India, China on way to give a fillip to security cooperation
The forthcoming visit by China’s state councillor and minister of public security, Zhao Kezhi, to India could give a fillip to proposed bilateral pacts on security cooperation. A Chinese military team is also expected to visit India this month to resume military-to-military cooperation.
The two sides were first scheduled to sign an umbrella agreement on security cooperation when home minister Rajnath Singh visited Beijing in 2015. But the pact could not be signed and another opportunity was missed when Communist Party of China politburo member Meng Jianzhu visited India in 2016. Last year, a few months before the Dokalam standoff, Beijing returned India’s draft urging Delhi to re-draft the proposal and suggested sectorwise, multiple agreements instead of an ‘umbrella’ agreement in the fields of intelligence, narcotics, human trafficking and terrorism.
It is learnt Indian ministries are currently deliberating China’s proposal to put in place an effective counter-terror partnership. India is hopeful that the security agreements will allow it to obtain some information on Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar, who has so far eluded a UN listing as a global terrorist because of Chinese veto. The pact could also help India to track down ULFA leader Paresh Barua, believed to receive patronage of Chinese security establishment.
India also desires that China should dissuade Pakistan from building and nourishing anti-India terror infrastructure on its soil. Beijing recently denied advising Pakistan to shift LeT founder Hafiz Saeed to West Asia and termed it baseless.
In the 2017 BRICS Summit in Xiamen, China agreed to name and shame Pak-based terror groups LeT and JeM, a long-held Indian demand. This year at FATF meet, China, after initial objections, supported India’s case on grey listing Pakistan on account of terror funding.
Besides terrorism, India is keen to set up a mechanism for cooperation on tackling transnational crimes, cyber crime and having a 24×7 hotline to exchange information with China. This was conveyed to politburo member Meng Jianzhu during his 2016 visit to India. Deputy National Security Adviser Rajinder Khanna, during his visit to Beijing last week for the SCO NSAlevel meet, invited Zhao to visit India and the important trip that would build upon Wuhan informal summit is expected to materialise in the near future, persons familiar with the matter said.