Indo-Myanmar: How communication skills are being improved

There was a strike by the Indian army along the Myanmar border in which at least 20 militants from the North East were gunned down and several others injured.

While it is being debated whether the operation was carried out along the border or in Myanmar, the fact is the round one of the battle was won by the Indian army.

Indo-Myanmar communications improving

Myanmar denied last night that an operation was carried out on their soil while Defence Minister of India, Manohar Parrikar was quick to contradict that statement by terming it as diplomatic pressure.

The fact of the matter is that India is permitted to carry out an operation in Myanmar after taking permission from the local post commander of the army in Myanmar.

Overcoming communication problems:

The Indo-Myanmar border being used as a safe haven for terrorists has become a headache for both countries. While there is a faction within the Myanmar army which the Indian army does not trust, by and large both the forces have agreed to cooperate with each other.

Also read: Myanmar hot pursuit: Death count is 20 say army sources

While there will be black sheep everywhere, India has decided to look at the brighter aspect and deal with the Myanmar army which is ready to combat the problem of militancy on its soil. The Indian army would have to rely on constant intelligence from Myanmar and for this the communication skills have to be improved.

There is a language barrier and during the last meeting of the forces to discuss various issues relating to the border, it was decided that the language skills would be improved. The armies of both countries have decided that they would brush up language skills of both nations (Hindi and Burmese) and also English in order to communicate better. This goes a long way in intelligence sharing.

The right to strike:

Several army officials that OneIndia spoke with say that the government in Myanmar is not averse to the India playing a lead role in eradicating militants. Myanmar's only problem is that some of the militants on its soil are supported by the Chinese. On this front there is a bit of reluctance on their part.

Also read: Why does Myanmar shield northeast terror groups?

The other issue is regarding SS Khaplang the leader of the NSCN-K which carried out the Manipur ambush leaving 18 soldiers dead. Since Khaplang originally hails from Myanmar, there is an amount of sympathy he gets from certain quarters in the army.

However these are relatively smaller issues and Myanmar by and large wants to take a look at the larger picture. It was decided by both India and Myanmar that strikes could be carried out only after taking due permission. However more importantly the same ought not to be announced as an act of bravado.

As per the agreement between the two nations, Myanmar has agreed to allow the Indian army to enter their territory if militants threatening India were found. There would be due process followed and permission from the local army commander of Myanmar would have to be sought before any such operation is undertaken.

Indo-Myanmar will go beyond terrorism:

The problem along the Indo-Myanmar border is not restricted to terrorism alone. It is a flourishing route for drug and arms smuggling. There have been several instances where drugs and arms have been smuggled through these borders.

Both countries will work together to share information on a regular basis and more importantly prevent any illegal activity along the border. Moreover India would also have to ensure that the crackdown on these militants does not lead to another problem.

When the Bangladesh government cracked down on North East militants taking shelter on their soil, they moved their base to Myanmar. India would have to be watchful that militants do not use another border to continue with their activities and hence action within India is equally important.

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