NEW DELHI: India and China on Monday signed their first ever internal security cooperation agreement, ensuring support to each other in dealing with problems of terrorism, human trafficking, smuggling of drugs and arms etc. During a high-level meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and China’s minister for public security, Zhao Kezhi, India asked China to support its pending application in the UN to designate Pakistan-based Masood Azhar, leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group, as a global terrorist, sources said. In the past, China—a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council—has opposed India’s proposal to list Azhar as a global terrorist.
Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that India also asked China to not give shelter to hardline ULFA leader Paresh Baruah. India’s mention of Baruah to China comes in the backdrop of reports stating that United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) leader Baruah had been making frequent trips to China. During the seventies, when insurgency was at its peak in the north-east, the extremist leaders often got training and shelter in China.
Sources said that Chinese concerns included insurgency in Xinjiang by Uighur extremists. In the absence of an extradition treaty with China, the two countries have not exchanged each other’s sentenced prisoners, but this pact may change that. There are at least 10 Indians in Chinese prisons and an equal number of Chinese citizens in Indian prisons.When asked about the significance of the agreement, a senior home ministry official said that the pact may lead to the signing of a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in future.