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Indo-US-Israel dialogue pushes
for anti-terror partnership
Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi |
February 09, 2003 04:43 IST
An Indo-US-Israel dialogue on terrorism held in New Delhi on February 6 and 7 concluded that the three governments must set up "a joint trilateral mechanism to pool resources, capabilities and experience of the three countries for concerted action against international terrorism."
A small group of retired officers and experts from India, Israel and the US have constituted themselves into a ginger group to push their governments to unite in a common front to combat international terrorism.
During the close-door dialogue it was pointed out that the three countries have been at the receiving end of terrorism for several years and as "sister-democracies" they must unite to combat this menace.
The conference, organised by the Manipal Academy of Higher Education in association with the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs,Washington DC, was attended by a number of retired intelligence officers and diplomats of the three countries. Prominent among them were Shabtai Savit, former director-general of the Mossad; Major General (retired) Uzi Dayan, former director-general of the Israeli Military Intelligence and former Israel national security advisor; retired US intelligence officer Steve Pomerantz; A K Verma, former head of the Research and Analysis Wing, India's external intelligence agency; B Raman, anti-terrorism expert and former senior intelligence officer; K P S Gill, former director-general of Punjab police; Harvey J Feldmann, former US ambassador to the UN and G Parthasarathy, former Indian high commissioner to Pakistan.
The participants expressed their concern over the efforts of a few terrorist groups to acquire weapons of mass destruction and over the use of such groups by certain states to achieve their strategic objectives.
During the discussion on the progress made so far in the war against terrorism, many experts expressed their dissatisfaction over “the lack of teeth in the UN Security Council Resolution No.1373” which did not provide for effective punitive action against states which did not sincerely comply with the resolution.
They also expressed the view that neither the security council nor the Interpol would be able to deal effectively with terrorism and called for the creation of a new international organisation for counter-terrorism.
But to begin with, the experts believed, the three countries could set up a trilateral mechanism for counter-terrorism and if it works satisfactorily they could associate other like-minded democracies with it.
A permanent non-governmental body of professional experts would be formed to promote this objective.
The Israeli delegates expressed their concern over India's close relations with Iran. They alleged that Iran has been sponsoring the Hizbullah's acts of terrorism against Israel.
Most of the Israeli and American participants avoided any specific mention of Pakistani state-sponsorship of terrorism against India and it was left to the Indian experts to draw attention to the fact that pan-Islamic jihadi terrorism originated in the Pakistan-Afghanistan region.
There were moments of embarrassment in the conference when Jairam Ramesh of the Congress, who attended sessions as a special invitee, asked the US and Israeli delegates whether they agreed that the Hindu fundamentalists posed a threat to regional peace and stability as much as the Islamic fundamentalists. To the relief of the organisers, the delegates replied in the negative.