India and the US will soon sign a pact for enhancing bilateral security cooperation that will include sharing of information on terror groups and counter- terror initiatives. A meeting of the Union cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today approved signing of a memorandum of cooperation between India and the United States on homeland security. The Union cabinet’s nod to the agreement came hours after the prime minister returned from the US where he had his first meeting with President Donald Trump. The memorandum of cooperation will further strengthen bilateral security relations between India and the US, and will help in coordination and interactions among the six sub- groups that are proposed to be formed under the homeland security dialogue between the two countries, an official statement said.
Combating trans-national crime, countering illicit financing, accessing and sharing of data relating to terrorism are among key issues which come under the India-US homeland security dialogue. Other issues which are part of the bilateral security cooperation mechanism include coastal security, cyber security, mega city policing, providing homeland security equipment to each other and capacity building, sources said. In the homeland security dialogue, the Indian side is headed by the home minister while the US is represented by its homeland security secretary. The senior-level exchange between India and the US reinforces the strategic homeland security partnership and enhance operational cooperation in investigations, capacity building, and countering threats.
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The engagement ensures sharing lessons learned and best practices in police training and responding to mass casualty exercises, improving both nations’ capabilities to respond to terrorist incidents and natural disasters.