The Centre has cautioned state governments against directly dealing with agencies of some “countries of concern” like China, Iran and Afghanistan on matters of internal security saying any such communication must be routed through it for the sake of national security.
In a recent communication to all chief secretaries, the Ministry of Home Affairs said state police forces should be directed “not to facilitate or entertain” any such requests from organisations or agencies from countries of concern without prior consultation with it.
“It has come to the notice of the ministry of home affairs that some foreign organisations/ agencies from countries of concern are extending invitations for mutual cooperation, training, joint exercise, exchange of views etc., directly to state/ union territory police without routing such requests through ministry of home affairs,” it said.
The ministry said while it appreciated that law enforcement related cooperation at international level is desirable, a cautious and calibrated approach is to be adopted while dealing with foreign organisations or agencies, especially from countries of concern, in the interest of national security.
“Accordingly, state/ union territory organisations may be directed not to facilitate or entertain any such requests from foreign organisations/ agencies from countries of concern without prior consultation with the ministry of home affairs,” the communication said.
According to ministry officials, depending on the nature of international cooperation like training of officers related to forensics, explosions, investigation, procurement of weapons or security equipment, there were different countries of concern identified by the government with the help of central intelligence agencies.
For example, when it comes to internal security cooperation, Pakistan, China and Afghanistan are countries of concern and if states or local police start dealing with private companies or government organisations of these countries directly, it may compromise different aspects of internal security, an official said.
On matters such as counter-terror programmes, fake currency, drugs, human trafficking etc., countries like Iraq, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh were put in the “country of concern” category from time to time.
Similarly, several private foreign organisations which deal with security equipment or organise security related conferences or seminars need to be verified properly, another official said.