India banks on BIMSTEC to push counter-terror steps

India banks on BIMSTEC to push counter-terror steps

With Pakistan blocking most of the counter-terrorism initiatives by the Saarc, India on Tuesday sought to give a boost to regional regional cooperation against the menace through the BIMSTEC.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval hosted a meeting of his counterparts from the other BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) member nations – Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal – in New Delhi.

The meeting noted that BIMSTEC member nations faced “common security challenges”.

It also underlined the necessity of addressing traditional and non-traditional security challenges to harness economic prosperity and human security in the region. The BIMSTEC national security chiefs also underscored the “importance of recognising the Bay of Bengal as a common security space and agreed to work out collective strategies for common responses”, the Ministry of External Affairs stated in a press release issued after the meeting.

Doval and his counterparts from other BIMSTEC nations also called on the prime minister later.

Ceasefire violations decline  
Terror incidents, ceasefire violations and casualties on the Indian side of the Indo-Pak border have declined after the surgical strikes in September last year, the government said on Wednesday, DHNS reports from New Delhi.

Providing details during the Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said there were 110 terror incidents in the two months before the surgical strikes and 87 in two months after them.

“Thirty-four security personnel were killed before and 19 after, whereas the civilian casualties were seven earlier and six now,” he said. Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said the ceasefire violations by Pakistan have come down post the surgical strikes. There were 228 ceasefire violations at the LoC in 2016 and 221 at the International Border (IB). However, till February 2017, there have only been 22 ceasefire violations at the LoC and six on the IB, he said.

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