Indonesian Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mohammad Mahfud is on a visit to India. He will hold bilateral talks with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in Delhi on Tuesday.
The meeting, which will be the second between the two security advisors this year, will discuss issues of maritime security, anti-radicalisation and cooperation in tackling emerging security challenges in cyberspace.
Indonesian minister is coming to Delhi on the invitation of NSA Doval. In March this year, Doval visited Indonesia for the second India-Indonesia security dialogue at the NSA level and during the visit he invited Mahfud to visit India. Mahfud is a senior minister in Joko Widodo’s government and coordinates key portfolios such as home, foreign affairs and defence.
The visiting Indonesian minister will be accompanied by a 24-member interfaith delegation comprising Ulema and leaders of Hindu and Christian faiths. Indonesian ulema will join Indian ulema in a day-long discussion which focuses on “The role of ulema in promoting a culture of interfaith peace and social harmony”. India and Indonesia”. Sessions will focus on Islam, harmonizing interfaith societies, and combating radicalization and extremism in India and Indonesia. NSA Doval will address the inaugural session while Mahfud will deliver the keynote address.
India and Indonesia share two millennia of close cultural and commercial contacts. Hindu, Buddhist and later Muslim religions reached Indonesia from the shores of India. There are about 120,000 Indonesians of Indian origin in Indonesia, mostly concentrated in Greater Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya and Bandung. They are mainly engaged in the trading of textiles and sporting goods.
The accompanying inter-religious delegation is also expected to engage with their Indian counterparts and exchange views about religions, the different modes of their practices and the challenges of radicalization in modern society.
Sources told CNN-News18, “While both the governments had the idea of doing this, we are letting it coalesce and move forward as a civil society-led initiative. The familiarization is already there but giving it a more structured way is something that is being promoted by the government.
Such engagements also provide a space where one can discuss “how we ensure that religion is not used as a source of conflict or violence and how the faith can be shared among different sections of society”. can be built as a bridge and can be a source of peace.” ,” said a source.
In the past decades, Indonesia has also suffered serious terrorist attacks and faced major challenges of terrorism. The restaurant bombing in Bali resulted in the tendency of terrorist groups operating in Indonesia to focus on “soft” targets. Since then, successive governments have taken a number of measures, from bringing in harsher laws to modernizing the education system, to curb them. fundamentalism in the country which also hosts the world’s largest population of Muslims.
In the meeting in Jakarta, Doval and Mahfud discussed a range of bilateral issues between the two countries and agreed to strengthen the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and promote connectivity between societies. Thereafter, the two leaders signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Security Dialogue to further strengthen cooperation on political and security issues.
India and Indonesia had decided to establish a security dialogue in December 2016 during the state visit of Indonesian President Joko Widodo to India. The two countries agreed to establish a security dialogue to develop a comprehensive action plan for security cooperation.
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