The Indonesian minister of political, legal and security affairs, Mohammad Mahfud, travels to India. He will hold bilateral talks with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval in Delhi on Tuesday.
The meeting, which will be the second between the two security advisers this year, will discuss the issues of maritime security, radicalism and cooperation in addressing emerging security challenges in cyberspace.
The Indonesian minister visits Delhi at the invitation of NSA Doval. In March this year, Doval visited Indonesia for the second NSA-level security dialogue between India and Indonesia and during this visit he invited Mahfud to India. Mahfud is a senior minister in Joko Widodo’s government, coordinating key portfolios such as domestic, foreign and defence.
The visiting Indonesian pastor will also be accompanied by a 24-strong interfaith delegation made up of ulemas and leaders of Hindu and Christian religions. The Indonesian ulemas will engage in a day-long conversation with Indian ulemas, focusing on the “role of ulemas in promoting a culture of interfaith peace and social harmony in India and Indonesia”. The sessions will focus on Islam, harmonizing interfaith societies and countering radicalization and extremism in India and Indonesia. NSA Doval will address the opening session, while Mehfud will deliver a keynote speech.
India and Indonesia have had close cultural and commercial contact for two millennia. The Hindu, Buddhist and later Islamic faith traveled from the coasts of India to Indonesia. There are about 120,000 Indonesians of Indian descent in Indonesia, mainly concentrated in Greater Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya and Bandung. They are mainly engaged in trade in textiles and sporting goods.
The accompanying interfaith delegation is also expected to interact with their Indian colleagues and exchange ideas about religions, their different practices and also about the challenges of radicalization in modern society.
Sources told CNN-News18: “While the two governments had the idea to do this, let’s get it organized and move forward as a civil society-led initiative. The awareness is already there, but giving a more structured interpretation is something that gets a push from the government.”
Such commitments also provide space to discuss “how we ensure that religion is not used as a source of conflict or violence and how faith can be built as a bridge in different parts of society and be a source of peace.” to be. ”said a source.
In recent decades, Indonesia has also experienced serious terrorist attacks and faced major challenges in terms of terrorism. The tendency of terrorist groups operating in Indonesia to focus on “soft” targets resulted in the restaurant bombings in Bali. Since then, successive governments have taken a slew of measures, from tougher laws to modernizing the education system, as a way to stem radicalization in the country that is home to the world’s largest Muslim population.
At the meeting in Jakarta, Doval and Mahfud discussed a variety of bilateral issues between the two countries and agreed to strengthen the comprehensive strategic partnership and promote connectivity between the society. Subsequently, both leaders signed the Security Dialogue Memorandum of Understanding to further strengthen cooperation on political and security issues.
India and Indonesia had decided to set up a security dialogue during the state visit of Indonesian President Joko Widodo to India in December 2016. The two countries had agreed to establish a security dialogue to develop a comprehensive security cooperation action plan.
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