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Now, India eyes Bimstec to counter terrorism

New Delhi to seek joint action on criminal issues
nirban Bhaumik
Last Updated : 13 October 2016, 19:25 IST
Last Updated : 13 October 2016, 19:25 IST
Last Updated : 13 October 2016, 19:25 IST
Last Updated : 13 October 2016, 19:25 IST

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With Pakistan blocking most of the counter-terrorism initiatives by the Saarc, India is now set to rely on the Bimstec to boost regional cooperation against the menace.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday will call upon the leaders of the Bimstec (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) nations to fast-track implementation of regional initiatives to combat terrorism.

Modi will host the Bimstec leaders in Goa this weekend on the sidelines of the 8th summit of the BRICS, a bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
The prime minister will chair a meeting of the Bimstec leaders on Sunday, which will be followed by the BRICS leaders’ outreach meeting with their Bimstec counterparts.
Sources told DH that the prime minister will call for early ratification of the Bimstec convention on cooperation in combating international terrorism, transnational organised crime and illicit drug trafficking.

He would stress on the early commencement of negotiations on the Bimstec convention on extradition too, added the sources.

New Delhi will also seek early implementation of the BRICS convention on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.

The Saarc also adopted a convention on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters almost eight years ago. But it is yet to come into force as Pakistan did not ratify the 2008 convention. Pakistan also blocked the establishment of the Saarc terrorist offences monitoring desk and the Saarc drug offences monitoring desk.

Irked by Pakistan’s persistent efforts to block the South Asian nations’ collective initiatives against terrorism, India is now set to push for regional cooperation against the menace through the Bimstec, which comprises five (India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka) of the eight members of the Saarc, said sources in New Delhi.  
Pakistan, Afghanistan and Maldives are not members of the Saarc.

New Delhi has also started exploring possibilities of trilateral counter-terrorism cooperation among India, Iran and Afghanistan, another move to side-step Pakistan in building synergy in anti-terror policies in the region.
 

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Published 13 October 2016, 19:25 IST

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