India talks terror with China amid offensive against Pakistan
India and China held their first bilateral dialogue on counter-terrorism and security in Beijing on Tuesday against the backdrop of New Delhi’s aggressive global campaign against Pakistan for using terror as an instrument of state policy.world Updated: Sep 27, 2016 17:52 IST
India and China held their first bilateral dialogue on counter-terrorism and security in Beijing on Tuesday against the backdrop of New Delhi’s aggressive global campaign against Pakistan for using terror as an instrument of state policy.
An Indian delegation headed by RN Ravi, chairperson of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), met senior Chinese officials and exchanged views on the international and regional security situation. The focus: how to deal with terrorism and enhance cooperation on mutual concerns.
The meeting was held at a crucial time – India-China relations are going through an uneasy patch, not least because of Beijing’s stubborn opposition to India’s bid at the UN to designate Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist. India blamed Azhar for orchestrating the attack on Pathankot airbase in January.
India’s concerns about Azhar would certainly have been aired by Ravi at the “India-China high level dialogue on counter-terrorism and security” even if, it was learnt, the latest terror attack in Uri wasn’t the focus of the talks.
A PTI report from the UN said on Tuesday that China’s “technical hold” against Azhar being designated as a terrorist by the UN Security Council would end in the next 10 days. This means that unless China objects again, India’s bid “could stand passed automatically”.
China’s next move on Azhar will be closely followed to see whether Beijing removes the technical hold or continues to exercise its right as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to block the move.
Ravi also discussed other issues with Wang Yongqing, the secretary general of China’s Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission who led the Chinese team. The two sides “exchanged information on respective policies, systems and legislation to deal with terrorism, and further enhance their understanding on issues of major concern to both sides”, an Indian embassy statement said.
It added the two sides held “in-depth discussions on enhancing cooperation in counter-terrorism and security and on measures to jointly deal with security threats and reached important consensus in this regard”.
Besides the new dialogue, India and China have held five joint military exercises – Hand-in-Hand – that focussed on counter-terror operations and disaster relief. The groundwork for the dialogue was laid during home minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to China late last year.
During Singh’s visit, two new meeting mechanisms for internal security were also announced - the high level mechanism led by India’s home minister and China’s public security minister to be held in Beijing and Delhi once every two years, and the mechanism led by the international cooperation departments of the two ministries. The second mechanism will meet once a year, alternately in Beijing and New Delhi.
India and China also agreed during Singh’s visit to enhance cooperation in combating international terrorism by exchanging information on terror activities and groups, exchanging experiences on hijacking, hostage situations and other terror-related crimes, and coordinating positions on anti-terrorism endeavours at the regional and multilateral levels and backing each other.