India and Myanmar initiate joint border patrolling


As India hopes to turn its present relations with Myanmar into a ‘strategic partnership’ following the Act East policy, both countries have started joint border patrolling in some stretches of their “unfenced border”. “The patrolling has not started all over but in some specific areas. They (Myanmar army) also come and we also go there (Myanmar)”, Assam Rifles Chief Lt Gen Harminderjit Singh Sachdev said. Assam Rifles guards the 1,643-km India-Myanmar border and also conducts counter-insurgency operations in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Nagaland.

The Assam Rifles chief hoped that the new elected government in Myanmar will reciprocate India’s requests on tackling terrorism. “The newly elected democratic government in Myanmar is reaching out to us (India). There are some positive steps. May be next year or two, we will be sure in which direction we are moving. I am sure something positive will be there”, Mr Sachdev said.

Myanmar has a democratic government in power, under the de facto leadership of Aung San Suu Kyi. Her National League for Democracy (NLD) party had achieved a landslide victory in the general elections in November last year. In recent years, India and Myanmar have improved their bilateral ties on several fronts.

“I am sure Myanmar will now show positive signals to India. How fast that will be, we cannot say. And that all depends how both the countries work”, the Assam Rifles chief said. China is also pursuing its strategic interest in Myanmar. There are several sectors where India and Myanmar can deeply cooperate, including economic and security partnership.

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