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India, China ink pact on security cooperation
Spl Correspondent
 NEW DELHI, Oct 22 - India and China on Monday signed an agreement on security cooperation between the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Public Security of China.

The agreement is expected to further strengthen and consolidate discussions and cooperation in the areas of counter-terrorism, fight against organised crimes, drug control and other relevant areas, official sources said.

India raised the issue of the supply of arms and ammunition to insurgent groups of the North-east, besides urging Beijing to hand over ULFA(I) commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah.

Highly placed sources said that the issues figured during separate discussions with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval with the Chinese delegation led by Chinese State Councillor Zhao Kezhi.

However, the sources admitted that India is not very hopeful about the prospect of insurgents being handed over to it, as India currently does not have an extradition treaty with China, nor any pact to exchange each other’s sentenced prisoners.

There are at least 10 Indians languishing in Chinese prisons and an equal number of Chinese citizens in Indian jails.

The delegation-level talks were also attended by Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, who hails from Arunachal Pradesh, amidst speculation that China might object to his presence at the meeting.

China has been issuing stapled visas to people of Arunachal Pradesh as it does not officially recognise the Indian State.

Zhao Kezhi is heading a 15-member high-powered delegation that will call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow.

The delegation will then travel to Mumbai on October 24 and is scheduled to meet Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Meanwhile, sources confirmed that for the first time, India and China will sign an internal security cooperation agreement, marking a new beginning in bilateral relations.

The proposed pact is expected to cover areas of intelligence sharing, exchange programme, sharing of best practices, cooperation in disaster mitigation and others.

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