Intelligence sharing and cooperation between India, China and Sri Lanka led to the arrest of a Pakistani currency smuggler, Faiz Muhammad, in China’s Guangzhou province recently.
At the time of his arrest, Muhammad was found with fake Indian currency notes worth Rs. 2.5 million printed in Pakistan, said a report filed by the Sri Lankan Daily newspaper Ceylon Today. His arrest was the result of a tip-off by Indian intelligence agencies to their counterparts in Colombo and Beijing.
The arrest of this Pakistani national, while raising concerns in Islamabad, must be seen as a feather in the cap of both Delhi and Beijing, who took the significant step of signing a bilateral security cooperation pact in November 2015, under which both nations agreed to actively share intelligence on terrorists, terror groups and their activities through a dedicated communication channel.
In the year gone by, both India and China have taken steps to coordinate positions on anti-terrorism endeavours at regional and multilateral levels and are supporting each on counter-terrorism cooperation. New Delhi sees such cooperation in intelligence sharing with Beijing as providing a major boost to security ties between the two countries, as also a great help in analyzing and evaluating operations of regional and international terror groups.
This trilateral sharing of intelligence has left Pakistan, especially its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) alarmed as the India China intelligence cooperation exposed Pakistan’s use of Sri Lanka as another point for promoting its terror activities globally.
In fact, it is being reported that alarm bells are ringing within the Pakistan establishment, as they see this arrest of one of their nationals in another country as the end of a crucial importation operations hub.
It is now being assessed that the ISI’s primary and apparent objective in using Sri Lanka as an intelligence operations hub is aimed at encircling India from all sides, and specially have access to its southern parts, to possibly scout for terror networks as also to recruit fresh cadres for them in Muslim dominant pockets.
It has also been exposed that the ISI used Colombo as a transit point for terror funding. The world’s major powers, including India, are ensuring greater cooperation between intelligence agencies to counter and neutralise such activities before they assume dangerous dimensions.