India, Maldives to finalise pact to combat Islamic State

Modi-Yameen

With India and the Maldives seeking to reinvigorate the bilateral ties, the two countries are working towards finalising a pact to combat the world’s most dreaded terrorist organisation, the Islamic State (IS). The Maldives is facing the threat of radicalisation of Maldivian youth and their recruitment by the IS.

The increased radicalisation of youth in the region has become a major issue in South Asia. “Radicalisation is a big concern and a threat that we are extremely worried about,” Maldives foreign secretary Ali Naseer Mohamed said. Mr Mohammed met with his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar on March 12. He said that information sharing was the best way to prevent people from travelling to the IS dominated regions.

According to an official estimate, around 40 Maldivian nationals could have been recruited by such groups. The Maldives is working closely with India and Sri Lanka in intelligence sharing. “Even the figure of 40 is quite big for the Maldives which has a population of just 3,50,000. Even one Maldivian becoming a terrorist and killing people is enough to shake our society,” Mr Mohamed said.

The cross-border mechanism between the two countries will not be restricted to only intelligence sharing. “There is a discussion between the Indian government and the Maldives on establishing a cross-border mechanism to address this issue and already the Maldives has institutionalised the process,” the Maldives High Commissioner to India Ahmed Mohamed said.

The two countries are sharing policies on deradicalisation, as well as working with communities on preventing youth from being recruited for the dreaded terrorist organisation. “Our biggest challenge is the potential returnees from IS training camps, who are trained in firearms,” Mr Ahmed said.

Author Profile

India Writes Network
India Writes Network
India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) is an emerging think tank and a media-publishing company focused on international affairs & the India Story. A venture of TGII Media Private Limited, a leading media, publishing and consultancy company, IWN has carved a niche for balanced and exhaustive reporting and analysis of international affairs. Eminent personalities, politicians, diplomats, authors, strategy gurus and news-makers have contributed to India Writes Network, as also “India and the World,” a magazine focused on global affairs. The Global Insights India (TGII) is the research arm of India Writes Network. To subscribe to India and the World, write to editor@indiawrites.org