By Ashok Dixit
Jakarta, Nov.1 (ANI): Vice President M. Hamid Ansari on Sunday said India and Indonesia would in all likelihood be exchanging letters to formalise a bilateral extradition treaty between the two countries, besides inking two other pacts – one on cultural exchange cooperation and the other on cooperation in the field of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy).
Interacting with media on board Air India One while en route to Jakarta from New Delhi, the vice president said there were two dimensions to security cooperation between India and Indonesia, given that the latter controls three critical waterways in the ASEAN region.
He said that one level of security cooperation was at the defence and armed forces level, while the second was at the level of internal security cooperation, which the governments of the two nations review and improve upon from time-to-time.
While mention of the thorny issue of the custodial detention of criminal Chhota Rajan was assiduously avoided, Vice President Ansari did make a brief mention of bilateral cooperation in counter-terrorism, saying that at the political level, the principles of cooperation was a continuing process, while at the operative level, the two governments are working with each other.
Describing Indonesia as a maritime neighbour and a key strategic partner for India in the ASEAN region, Ansari said engagement with this plural, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society, which was also very rich in resources, has been positive and forward looking, but cautioned that this relationship with Jakarta or for that matter with Brunei should not be taken for granted.
He said bilateral engagement required regular exchanges and discussions on a diverse number of issues and on a commonality of interests.
He also made a mention of the long-standing civilisational links between the two countries. (ANI)