India-Myanmar to strengthen security ties
Placing a heavy premium on security-ties, India and Myanmar are working for institutionalising regular defence exchanges such as visits of army chiefs and chiefs of naval staff and exchanges between other security forces. Jayanth Jacob reports.delhi Updated: Oct 08, 2011 00:47 IST
Placing a heavy premium on security-ties, India and Myanmar are working for institutionalising regular defence exchanges such as visits of army chiefs and chiefs of naval staff and exchanges between other security forces.
This along with other security and economic issues will top the agenda when new President of Myanmar U Thein Sein arrives on his first official visit to India. He will be holding meetings with top-Indian leadership on November 14.
Getting closer with Myanmar, a country that has closet of ties with China, is seen as a move in making up for the lost time as India wasn't keen on engaging with the military junta who ruled that country and still wields great influence.
India currying greater favour with Myanmar, which is taking baby steps in democracy, has also irked its friends like the US who feel that a democracy like India should speak against the human right abuses in that country.
New Delhi has also mooted the idea of a joint military operation against the anti-India insurgents who are increasingly using Myanmar as a base-all the more so after Bangladesh had cracked down on them.
Myanmar shares 1,643 km land boundary with India's four northeastern states-besides a maritime boundary. There is a feeling among the Indian officials that New Delhi hasn't made enough investments in the security-relayed areas with Myanmar.
The Ulfa faction led by Paresh Barua and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) are among the eight insurgent groups that have bases in Myanmar. "We need to focus more on the security-related issues. We are trying to work out regular institutionalized mechanisms between the two armed forces and navies. Similar exchanges between the police forces will also be in order," said a senior government official.
With Bhutan and Bangladesh acting on India's security concerns arising out the anti-India insurgents, officials hope that Mynmar will do more and a joint military operation would be ideal.
Myanmar, had launched a military action against insurgent camps in Sagaing province in the first of week of September.
Ahead of the visit, the officials from both the sides are holding a series of meetings.