Plan to curb terror, boost maritime security likely at NSA Summit
Ajit Doval: Plan to curb terror, boost maritime security likely at NSA Summit - The Economic TimesNEW DELHI: India will push for a joint action plan to counter terrorism, de-radicalise potential recruits, and enhance maritime security in the Bay of Bengal region when it hosts on Tuesday the first meeting of the national security advisers (NSA) to the seven BIMSTEC countries.
The BIMSTEC is a crucial regionalplatform in India’s strategy for ending cross-border extremism as the SAARC, the South Asian grouping, has failed to achieve its security goals because of Pakistan’s ambivalence in approving the counter-terror convention.
At their meeting in Goa last October, the seven BIMSTEC leaders had decided to hold annual NSA meets and India as lead country for BIMSTEC security matters decided to host the inaugural session, officials told ET.
NSA Ajit Doval will be joined by his counterparts from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan: They will seek to establish a concrete action plan to contain terror in the region and emphasise on greater synergy in intelligence sharing among the seven countries, officials hinted.
The meeting of BIMSTEC senior officials in Kathmandu last month had decided to convene the NSA conference at the earliest, and this meeting will give leaders the perfect opportunity to deal holistically with security issues. A key objective behind this exercise is to create a common security space among BIMSTEC nations which face similar traditional and non-traditional security threats.
This meet of security chiefs will provide inputs for the fourth BIMSTEC summit in the last quarter of 2017 in Nepal, coinciding with the 20th year of formation of the grouping. The security chiefs will also discuss the present status of the proposed BIMSTEC counter-terror convention as well as the BIMSTEC Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty mechanism, hinted persons familiar with the development.
“There is unanimity among members of BIMSTEC that safeguarding the region is imperative for economic growth and this exercise of the NSA meet would contribute toward that objective,” an official said. India has effective bilateral counter-terror cooperation with all members of BIMSTEC. An international de-radicalisation meet led by India is also in pipeline this year.
The BIMSTEC declaration in Goa last October had stressed: “We reiterate our strong commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and stress that there can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever.”