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New Delhi Correspondent
India and Myanmar on Friday agreed to take action against insurgent groups operating within their territories.
The agreement was reached at a meeting between an Indian team of officials led by Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and and a Myanmar delegation headed by Major General Aung Thu, Deputy Home here on October 25 and 26.
Both sides also agreed to cooperate in preventing smuggling of wildlife and narcotic drugs and strengthen cooperation on international border management including construction of subsidiary pillars to better demarcate the border, an Indian Home Ministry statement said on Friday evening. Naga insurgent group NSCN (Khaplang faction) targets India by operating from camps in Myanmar and killed 18 Indian armymen in an ambush in Manipur state some years ago. The Indian army had retaliated by destroying some NSCN (K) camps along the border as also in Myanmar territory. New Delhi hopes to wipe out the remaining camps of the insurgents with Myanmar’s cooperation.
Also, the two countries agreed on providing of security cooperation along with international border and facilitating movement of people and trade across the international border.
At a separate meeting between Transport Ministers of India and Myanmar Nitin Gadkari and U Thant Sin Maung respectively held in Delhi on October 26, both the countries expressed their eagerness to further carry forward the process of connectivity by signing a bilateral Motor Vehicles Agreement for seamless movement of cargo and passenger movement. The draft agreement is under discussion and the two sides are keen to finalize it soon, said another statement issued by the Indian Transport Ministry.
Gadkari and Maung discussed the progress of the ongoing India–Myanmar transport connectivity projects and the status of the project for upgradation of the Kalewa-Yagyi stretch of the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway, starting with Imphal (capital of Manipur)-Mandalay (Myanmar) bus service and a bilateral Motor Vehicles Agreement between the two countries.
The upgradation of the Kalewa-Yagyi stretch of the trilateral highway is being executed by state-owned National Highways Authority of India. which conveyed that the project is running well within time and they hope to complete it before the scheduled date of completion in 2019.
The two sides also expressed keenness to start the Imphal-Mandalay bus service soon. They have to select bus operators to run the service. Once the service starts, a bus from India will take passengers to Myanmar border where they will transfer to the bus run by Myanmar operator for travelling further into Myanmar. Likewise, India-bound Myanmar nationals will shift to bus run by Indian operator for further travel into India.
India and Myanmar operationalized the land border crossing agreement earlier this year under which nationals from the two countries holding valid passport and visa are allowed to cross over without requiring special permission.