Australia calls for deeper counter-terrorism cooperation with India
Asserting that no country should export militancy, Australia Thursday called for deeper counter-terrorism cooperation with India, including intelligence sharing to fight the growing threat of online radicalism, as it sought to ramp up bilateral defence ties.
New Delhi: Asserting that no country should export militancy, Australia Thursday called for deeper counter-terrorism cooperation with India, including intelligence sharing to fight the growing threat of online radicalism, as it sought to ramp up bilateral defence ties.
Australia has also offered India its Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle, used by the Australian army in Afghanistan, to counter the threat of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) besides radio signal jamming devices for the same.
Visiting Australian Defence Minister Kevin Andrews, who has pitched for greater defence cooperation in Indian Ocean region, said he held detailed discussions with the Indian leadership including his counterpart Manohar Parrikar, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.
Talking about the issue of terrorism, he said, "As a matter of principle, we would say that no country should export terrorism to another country around the world...The export of terrorism is something that we are opposed to... Terrorists have to be dealt with at its roots, at its grounds rather than try and deal with it when it reaches a country".
He was replying to a question on Pakistan-sponsored terror attacks in India. Andrews, however, made it clear that he was speaking on a matter of principle and not on any "domestic issue" of India.
Talking to a select group of journalists here, Andrews said online radicalisation was a growing threat.
Underlying that Australia faces a real threat from fighters returning from Iraq and Syria, he said there is growing threat of online radicalisation, an issue which he discussed with Doval.
"Youngsters who get radicalised online through the computers while sitting in their bedrooms will not necessarily belong to any group," he said.
Citing a recent such case in Australia, Andrews said, "This is a growing threat that all countries are facing. India is facing it as well as Australia".
Asked what Australia proposes to do with India's cooperation on this front, he said both the countries have a common cause and common concern, and added that the two nations will help each other to find ways to deal with it.
A delegation of Australian anti-terrorism experts had visited India recently to firm up concrete structures of cooperation.
Andrews said over a period of time, India and Australia will see more of bilateral navy, air force and army exercises.
"We see more cooperation in things like cyber, potential intelligence sharing, counter terrorism (in future)," he said.