India, UK dub Indian diaspora as “living bridge”, pledge for ties in extradition of wrongdoers

New Delhi: India and Britain, in a joint statement at the end of bilateral talks in New Delhi, said both PM Narendra Modi and his visiting counterpart Boris Johnson celebrate the deep and vibrant people-to-people ties between the two countries that are fostered by the “living bridge of 1.6 million strong Indian diaspora in the UK”.

Both sides agreed to further strengthen this special bond. In this context, they reviewed the progress of the India-UK comprehensive Migration and Mobility Partnership (MMP) in facilitating migration, addressing illegal migration and streamlining the returns process.

“Both leaders agreed on the importance of regular engagement between the relevant authorities to facilitate effective operational cooperation on extradition and related matters,” the statement said.

They also announced their intention to cooperate on establishing mechanisms for sharing information on Criminal Records, preferably before March 2023, the statement added.

Vijay Mallya is fighting the extradition case in a UK court, while two others Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are also facing the legal process.

In total, the Centre, in 2020, said efforts were on to extradite 72 fugitives to India from the UK and other countries.

Another accused, Lalit Modi, was last reported to be living in London.

Meanwhile, India and the United Kingdom, in a statement on Cyber related matters, said the ‘2030 vision’ of the two partners include revitalised and dynamic connections between “our people and enhanced defence and security cooperation that brings a more secure Indo-Pacific”.

“Through cyberspace, there is a digital living bridge that allows our citizens, students and businesses to interact and promote our shared prosperity. As we take advantage of the new opportunities, this creates we must also protect ourselves against evolving threats,” the statement said.

In May 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed to an Enhanced Cyber Security Partnership.

“Today, India and the United Kingdom outline our commitment to a joint programme of cooperation to deliver this partnership, focused on cyber governance, deterrence, resilience and capacity building. The rules-based international order must be upheld online, just as it is offline,” the statement added.

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