India and Qatar on Sunday agreed to share intelligence to combat ‘hawala’ transactions and terror financing as the two countries signed seven agreements.
The two sides highlighted the need to “isolate” the sponsors and supporters of terrorism and agreed that urgent action against all such entities which support terrorism and use it as an instrument of policy, must be taken.
At the end of wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and Qatari leadership, the two sides decided to constitute an inter-ministerial high-level joint committee to regularly review all bilateral matters, as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest.
“Crucial agreements were signed today, which will give new strength to India-Qatar ties,” said Mr. Modi who is on a two-day visit to the Gulf country. “Sheikh Tamim and I had wide-ranging talks on how India and Qatar can further expand bilateral ties,” he tweeted.
An MoU was signed between the Finance Intelligence Unit-India (FIU) and Qatar Financial Information Unit to share intelligence on illegal movement of money, termed ‘hawala’
“The two sides further agreed to take action against illegal transfer of money,” a joint statement said.
There is a lot of money flow and investment from Qatar. A number of black money investigations have taken Indian authorities to Qatar’s shores and the MoU is seen as a move to help combat money offences.
Under this pact, the two sides also agreed to exchange financial intelligence to combat terrorism financing and other economic offences.
Threat to region
Briefing reporters, Secretary (Economic Relations) Amar Sinha said: “They (Qatari side) also realise that terror does pose a threat to both of us and to our region… Both the sides felt the time has come that we need to move beyond the trading relationship and get into strategic investments.” Strongly condemning the phenomenon of international terrorism, Mr Modi and the Emir resolved to cooperate together to root out this global menace.
They asserted that acts of violence and extremism cannot be justified, regardless of their motivation.