NEW DELHI: India and the US on Friday signed a Counter Terrorism Initiative that includes steps to check financing of terror activities, joint probe in cases of bomb blasts besides cooperation in cyber and border security.
“Today, with the formal signing of the initiative, we take several significant steps forward against terrorism,” US ambassador to India, Mr Timothy J Roemer, who signed the agreement along with the Home Secretary, Mr G K Pillai, told reporters here.
Terming the pact as symbolic of the “indispensable partnership” against terrorism, Mr Roemer said both the countries will work closely in matters like intelligence sharing and probe into bomb blasts.
“In the coming days and months there will be even closer information sharing and collaborative efforts on issues ranging from bomb blast probe and major event security to mega-city policing, cyber and border security,” he said.
The pact was initiated on the sidelines of the visit of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh to the US in November, 2009. “President (Barack) Obama and Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) have acknowledged the common threat that international terrorism poses to all people,” Mr Roemer said.
The agreement seeks to further enhance the cooperation between the two countries in counter terrorism as an important element of their bilateral strategic partnership. The initiative provides for strengthening capabilities to effectively combat terrorism, promotion of exchanges regarding modernisation of techniques, sharing of best practices on issues of mutual interest, development of investigative skills and promotion of cooperation in forensic science laboratories.
Besides, it seeks to establish procedures to provide mutual investigative assistance, enhancing capabilities to act against money laundering, counterfeit currency and financing of terrorism, exchanging best practices on mass transit and rail security, increasing exchanges between Coast Guards and Navy on maritime security, exchanging experience and expertise on port and border security.
The US envoy described it as a historic day for the US and India as the pact would bring the two countries closer together on issues of intelligence sharing, border security, mega policing efforts and “to fight together on a global basis against a common enemy, against terrorism.”