NEW DELHI: A proposed pact between India and the US for exchange of terrorists’ information has been dropped from the agenda of Homeland Security Dialogue to be held in June, due to certain objections by Indian agencies. Attempts have been made since August last year for signing the agreement on real-time intelligence sharing between the Terrorist Screening Centre (TSC) of the US and Indian intelligence agencies but a recent meeting attended by Assistant Secretary in the US Department of Homeland Security Alan Bersin and Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs M Gopal Reddy did not discuss it.
The US had proposed a Homeland Security Presidential Directive, a model text agreement to India for exchange of terrorist information. In the US, the TSC, a single, terrorist screening database of suspects, administered by the FBI, collects data from different US agencies involved in terror monitoring. It includes the name, nationality, date of birth, photos, fingerprints and passport numbers of suspects. The TSC provides near real-time identity resolution and shares information from the Terrorist Screening Database with key partners. The Intelligence Bureau, the nodal agency in India for counter-terror, had earlier opposed the agreement while external spy agency R&AW had agreed to it with certain conditions. Indian agencies were supposed to access internet-related data held by US-based services once the agreement was inked between the two nations. Later, during several rounds of review meeting, Indian security agencies in September-October 2015 agreed to enter into the proposed pact. It was decided that India may share information on Red Corner Notices with TSC during the initial stages, besides names and detailed particulars of wanted criminals and terrorists received from Indian states. These names were to be scrutinised by the Centre before sharing with the TSC.
But, other differences could not be narrowed down and the proposal was dropped. The Indian agencies were of the view that the arrangement in the present form primarily protects US interests.