Indo- Myanmar Border Management

In News: Myanmar was building a border demarcation fencing with India. The construction is currently on hold.

India and Myanmar Border Issues

  • The formation of Myanmar as a separate State in 1935 and decolonization of the sub-continent in 1947 divided ethnic communities living along the Indo-Myanmar border.

  • These communities, particularly Nagas, found the newly created boundary to be inconsistent with the traditional limits of the region they inhabited.

  • And they felt a deep sense of insecurity as they became ethnic minorities on both sides of the border.

Free Movement Regime

  • The people living in the Eastern districts of Nagaland and in the areas of NSAZ in Myanmar have close family ties and engage in cultural and economic exchanges.

  • In some instances, the imaginary border line even cuts across houses, land and villages.

  •  People living on the Indian side, own land holdings including cultivated lands and forested areas across the border and are completely dependent on it for their livelihood.

  • From the Myanmar side, a lot of villagers come to the Indian side to buy basic essentials.

  • Both the governments established the Free Movement Regime (FMR), 

  • It allows Nagas to travel 16 kilometers across the border on either side without any visa requirements.

  • Taking advantage of the FMR, a sizeable number of students from NSAZ also study in schools on the Indian side of the border.

Shortcomings of FMR

  • The FMR has been misused by locals to smuggle contraband in their head loads, which are not subject to inspection.

  • Militant groups have been using the porous border for moving cadres and arms.

  • Along with other active Indian insurgent groups, the NSCN-Khaplang (NSCN-K), maintains its camps and training bases in NSAZ in Myanmar.

  • China has also been reportedly aiding some of these groups.

  • Policing such a large area marked by harsh terrain and dense forest is difficult.

Way Ahead

  • Trust and confidence amongst the affected population must be restoring.

  • Tripartite talks between governments and local stakeholders can be organized to address concerns.

  • Socio-economic initiatives on either side of the border region should be worked out.

  • A mutually acceptable arrangement addressing the security concerns would be best way to address the border problem.

  • In case national security’s necessity selective fencing, technology, and regulated flow of cross-border movement can be an optional.

  • Naga Self-Administered Zone (NSAZ)

  • NSAZ is one of the six self-administered areas formed under the 2008 constitution of Myanmar.

  • It is a self-administered zone consisting of 3 townships of Lahe, Leshiand in Sagaing Region of Manmar.

  • Those three districts were administratively part of Hkamti District.

  • The bordering zone is to be self-administered by the Naga people.

  • Its administrative seat is the town of Lahe.

Securing India’s Strategic Autonomy

Securing India’s Strategic Autonomy

In News: China said it is willing to question India’s successful launch of Agni-V ballistic missile at the United Nations Security Council. Chinese foreign Ministry said “The UN Security Council has explicit regulations on whether India can develop ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons”.

UNSC Resolution

  • China was referring to the UNSC Resolution 1172, 1998.

  • It was passed in the aftermath of the nuclear tests conducted by both India and Pakistan in May 1998.

  • The resolution had urged India and Pakistan not to develop nuclear weapons delivery platforms like ballistic missiles, to cap their nuclear weapons programme and cease all fissile materials production.

  • This resolution was approved under Chapter VI of the UN Charter and is non-binding.

  • Therefore there are no constraints on India pertaining to its weapons and missile programmes.

  • But the Chinese media accused India of breaking the UN’s limits on its development of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missile.

  • India affirmed that India’s strategic capabilities are not targeted against any particular country.

  • India abides by all the applicable international obligations.

Why China reacted?

  • India despite not being a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), is getting preferential treatment from the rest of the world.

  • India had recently joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), whereas China’s credentials to be in the grouping were found lacking.

  • China also stalled India’s entry into the NSG and acted against Indian interests on the issue of terrorism emanating from the Pakistani soil.

Way Ahead

  • India, however, does not appear to be giving a strong response to such Chinese actions.

  • Globally military parades have been observed that countries use such ceremonial parades to display their military capabilities to the world.

  • During the 2013 Republic Day parade, India had displayed Agni-V.

  • It appears that India avoided displaying its nuclear might after 2013 for obvious geopolitical reasons.

  • Nuclear deterrence is also about demonstration and display of capabilities.

Such strategic signalling is often necessary to send a strong message to those questioning India’s ‘strategic autonomy’.

AMAN 2017

  • The international naval exercise “AMAN-17” is being held in Karachi, Pakistan.

  • Aman-17′ is the fifth such exercise that has taken place.

  • Pakistan has been holding the exercise every alternate year since 2007.

  • More than 35 countries was the participant of this year’s event.

  • The multinational exercise, themed “together for peace,” has been planned by the Pakistan Navy.

  • AMAN 17 exercise has featured harbor and sea phases where participants will witness a variety of activities including Search & Rescue (SAR) Operations, gunnery drills, anti-piracy demonstrations, replenishment at Sea (RAS) and maritime counter-terrorism demonstrations.

  • It involves ships, aircraft, helicopters, Special Operations Forces (SOF), Explosives Ordinance Disposal (EOD), marine teams and observers from regional as well extra-regional navies.

  • This exercise provides a platform for the navies involved – some of which do not work together very often – to hone their skills and build cooperation and friendship to promote peace and stability.

Exo-Atmospheric Interceptor Missile

  • An indigenously developed exo-atmospheric interceptor missile, named Prithvi Defence Vehice (PVD) Interceptor Missile, successfully destroyed an incoming target missile mimicking an enemy ballistic missile at a height of over 50 km.

  • The weapon systems radars have detected and tracked the target.

  • The mission computer predicting the trajectory of the target has launched the interceptor missile from Dr. Abdul Kalam Island.

  • The whole operation was without man in the loop.

  • It demonstrates the capability of India’s Ballistic Missile Shield,

  • Only a handful of countries have this similar capability.

National Maritime Conference 2017

  • The National Maritime Foundation (NMF) is conducting its Annual Maritime Power Conference-2017 with the theme ‘The Blue Economy: Concept, Constituents and Development’.

  • The National Maritime Foundation, in New Delhi, India is a non-governmental, non-political maritime think-tank under the societies act and established in 2005.

  • The Foundation conducts independent academic research and provides policy-relevant recommendations to advance the nation’s maritime goals.

  • Maritime India Summit was organized by the Ministry of Shipping for the first time in Mumbai last year to attract investment in the shipping sector from all around the world.

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