A Valuable EU Lesson for South Asia

An EU lesson for India & Pakistan
TNN , The Times of India, Mar 11, 2011

KARACHI: India and Pakistan must establish counter-terrorism centres to institutionalize anti-terrorism cooperation and strengthen the joint terror mechanism agreed to in Havana, said a communique at the end of the second Aman Ki Asha strategic seminar in Karachi on Wednesday.

"CTCs be established in New Delhi and Islamabad (and) involve regular communication, early warning, exchange of actionable intelligence, monitoring of terrorist organizations, joint training in counter-terrorism and potentially joint responses/operations," said the communique from the two-day event. It proposed that the centres be headed by a secretary-level officer and include senior officers from intelligence and criminal investigation agencies besides a hotline and monthly meetings in New Delhi and Islamabad between their heads.

French and German envoys to Pakistan attended the seminar and asked New Delhi and Islamabad to replicate the EU model that has ensured the longest period of peace since the end of the Roman empire. German envoy Michael Koch spoke about the Franco-German enmity that precipitated after two devastating wars and called for promotion of a culture of compromise.

Times Group CEO Ravi Dhariwal told the seminar that India-Pakistan relations have improved in the last few months with the relaxation in visa procedures. "The two media houses can't claim credit for this but surely Aman Ki Asha has started the movement." He said civil society can make it easier for politicians to take tough decisions. "We received a call from the PMO saying it was a good initiative when Aman Ki Asha was launched, even in the heat of the Mumbai attacks," he said. "I saw the first Aman Ki Asha advertisement and said, 'Oh this is too bold.' I thought it over for an hour and asked my team to tone it down. But they refused and I had to agree."

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