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Indo-Myanmar talks to focus on insurgency, border managemen

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Sep 12 (UNI) The 12th meeting of the Home Secretaries of India and Myanmar to be held here from tomorrow will focus on Indian insurgent groups present in the Myanmar territory and effective border management between the two countries.

The Indian delegation will be led by Union Home Secretary V.K.

Duggal and the Myanmar delegation by Deputy Minister of Home Affairs of Myanmar, Brigadier General Phone Swe at the four-day talks.

These meetings are held annually to discuss various issues related to maintenance of peace and tranquility along the India-Myanmar border.

Steps needed to curb smuggling of arms and ammunition and illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances will also figure in the discussions. In addition, the progress of various cross-border projects over which the two countries have agreed to cooperate will also be reviewed.

Insurgent groups from Manipur and Nagaland like ULFA, UNLF, PLA, NSCN(K) and NSCN(IM) are operating from Myanmar and New Delhi will utilise the opportunity to demand for flushing them out, according to sources. They also cited the instance of killing of some Assam Rifles personnel by insurgents a few months back. Myanmar has not yet agreed to Bhutan like action against Indian Insurgent Groups (IIGs).

India shares 1,643 km border with Myanmar, and Arunachal Pradesh alone accounts for 520 km followed closely by Mizoram 510 km.

Manipur shares 398 km of its international boundary with Myanmar and Nagaland another 258 km.

Boundary dispute was very minor as only nine border pillars, all in Manipur, were points of contention. It was decided to put up a 10-km fence at Moreh in Manipur but work is yet to begin.

Border management and fencing too are expected to be discussed at the talks. The issues are likely to be taken up in the light of recent reports regarding smuggling of Chinese grenades and counterfeit Indian currency through the Myanmar border.

The northeastern states have been voicing concern over these issues, particularly peddling of drugs and arms, pointing out the importance of Myanmar as the gateway to East Asian countries from the strategic point of view.

Sources said during the last meeting, held at Yangon in October last year, issues relating to security, drug trafficking, border trade, border management and proposed infrastructure projects in Myanmar were discussed.

Both sides had agreed to further strengthen cooperation in tackling the activities of insurgents, arm smugglers, drug peddlers and other hostile elements along the India-Myanmar border.

The status of various infrastructure projects in Myanmar, particularly in the road and power sectors, for which the two countries have agreed to cooperate, was reviewed at the last meeting and a follow up is expected this time.

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is building a 151-km-long Tamu-Kalemyo-Kalewa road in Myanmar and it is likely to offer to maintain the road.

UNI AJ PK RAI1916

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