India, Myanmar discuss ways to check militants
India and Myanmar have discussed ways to check cross border movement of militants, and smuggling of arms, ammunition and drugs along their 1,643-km frontier.
The 21st India-Myanmar national-level meeting also discussed how to plug loopholes in a pact that allows free movement of citizens of both countries within 16 kms of the international border.
The issues were discussed threadbare at the two-day meeting held at Nay Pyi Taw on July 5-6 and both sides agreed to enhance security cooperation along the frontier region for better management of the border, a home ministry official said. During the meeting, security cooperation in prevention of drug, boundary matters, wildlife smuggling, visa and prisoners in jails in the two countries, were discussed.
"Two sides mutually agreed that all steps should be made to ensure tranquillity along the border and safety and well being of the people in the border areas," an official statement said. India attaches utmost importance to the discussions under the framework of the national level meetings which involves representation from all agencies with relevance to security and border management, the statement said.
India's border with Myanmar touches four states –Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram. It is unique in many ways as it has a visa-free movement regime for people living within 16 kms on either side of the border.
They can stay up to 72 hours with effective and valid permits issued by the designated authority on either side.
This regime has been in place keeping in view the traditional social ties among the border people. Home Minister Rajnath Singh last month had said the regime is misused by militants and criminals who smuggle weapons, narcotics, contraband goods and fake Indian currency notes.
The central government has already set up an expert committee to examine the rules.
The Indian delegation was led by Union Home Secretary- designate Rajiv Gauba while the Myanmar delegation was led by Major General Aung Soe, deputy minister of home affairs.