India and the US have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for exchange of data on terror. This agreement will give India access to terrorist screening information from the US. The MoU, signed ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US has assumed great significance. In fact by the time reports of this agreement were released, the US Department of State in its report, had already hit out at Pakistan, the sponsor of terror. Terror outfits viz. the ‘Lashkar-e-Taiba’, the ‘Jaish-e-Mohammed’ and the ‘Jamat-ul-Dawa’ are active in Pakistan even today but Pakistan is reluctant to take action, charged the report.
The ‘Terrorist Screening Center’ of the US stores information of about 11 thousand terrorists on its data base which includes photos, finger prints, nationality and passport details. The US has already entered into this kind of an agreement with 30 countries. This MoU which is expected to facilitate exchange of intelligence on terror, was signed by the Union Home Secretary Rajiv Maharshi and the US ambassador to India, Richard Verma.
The Indian Prime Minister is slated to visit the US this coming week and hence the significance of this MoU signed ahead of this visit. This pact is expected to enhance co-ordination in the counter terrorism activity of both the countries. Meanwhile, the US Department of State has released a report titled ‘Country Reports on Terrorism 2015’ which informs about the terrorist outfits as yet active in Pakistan. The report lists among others, the ‘Lashkar-e-Taiba’, the ‘Jaish-e-Mohammed’, the ‘Jamat-ul-Dawa’ and the ‘Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation’ that have been declared ‘terrorist organizations’ by the United Nations.
The report very clearly states that these outfits even today openly indulge in recruitment and training of terrorists apart from collection of funds for terrorist activity. It also points out that Pakistan is not at all eager to act against these or even against the terrorists of the Haqqani network of the Afghani Taliban. The UN has banned the ‘Jamat-ul-dawa’ that was responsible for the Mumbai terror attack and yet its founder, Hafeez Saeed participates in public programmes in Pakistan. The report records the observation that the media even release reports of such programmes. Hafeez Saeed and other terrorists had been appearing on news channels to beam their statements and reactions, which fact has been no secret. However, in September last year, the authority controlling the media issued instructions that leaders of terrorist organizations like ‘Lashkar’ not appear on news channels.