14:54 GMT +318 January 2020
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    Setting aside the debacle at the Nuclear Suppliers' Group meeting, India and China are keen to renew cooperation against extremism in India's northeast. But, security experts are skeptical that such mechanism will be implemented.

    India and China are setting up a “High Level Mechanism” to jointly counter internal security threats in both countries. Sources from the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs have said that they are in touch with China to set the date for formal announcement of the mechanism’s establishment.

    Chinese Public Security Minister Guo Shengkum is likely to visit India in a fortnight to meet Indian Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh for this purpose.

    This visit is considered to be a continuation of a joint statement agreed during Rajnath Singh's visit to China last November. Both nations agreed "to enhance cooperation in combating international terrorism through exchanging information on terrorist activities, terrorist groups and their linkages; coordinating positions on anti-terrorism endeavors at regional and multilateral levels and supporting each other."

    Apart from internal security ministerial and joint secretarial level meetings, other ministerial level meetings are lined up for the coming weeks.

    India is very firm in its effort to persuade China to change its stance toward Pakistan-based terrorists like Masood Azhar, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi so that sanctions could be imposed upon them through the United Nations.

    Prakash Singh, Former Director General of the Indian Border Security Force, believes that unless China changes its position on Pakistan, actual intelligence-sharing would not materialize. "We want Masood Azhar to be declared a global terrorist, but China opposes this proposition. Pakistan has been taking advantage of China's strong support. Unless there is a change in this scenario, sharing of intelligence will be an arrangement only limited to papers."

    Singh also pointed to a likelihood of certain Chinese non-state actors supporting extremist elements in India's northeast. "There is an arms factory in Huang by the name of Northern Chinese Corporation. China claims that it has no official information about the activities in the 'private' factory. However, it is most likely this factory supplies arms and ammunition to extremists and separatist elements in India's north eastern region."

    India and China both are concerned over the growing influence of Daesh in their territory. India has sought Chinese help in unscrambling terror plots prepared by Daesh in India and its neighboring countries. India’s premiere investigative agency, the National Investigative Agency (NIA), has sought the mobile chat conversation details of suspected Daesh terrorist Areeb Majeed with his handlers. NIA sources revealed that Arab Majeed used to communicate with his handlers via messaging service “WeChat” whose server is based in China.

    Nevertheless, despite many reservations, the Indian establishment is hopeful that China will abide by its commitments made during visits by President Pranab Mukherjee and National Security Adviser, Ajit Doval earlier this year.


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