The centre has cautioned state governments against directly dealing with agencies of some “countries of concern” like China, Iran and Afghanistan, saying all communications should be routed through it to guard against threats to national security.
In a recent communication to all chief secretaries, the home ministry said the states should direct the police “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,” the home ministry 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”.
“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, such as training officers related to forensics, explosions, investigation, procurement of weapons or security equipment, several “countries of concern” have been 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.