NAY PYI TAW, March 6 � In a season of cooperation on combating terrorism, Myanmar has agreed to share with India information about the underground outfits of the North-east operating from the territory of the neighbouring country.
The positive response from Myanmar has been appreciated by India, which has been pressing the neighbouring country to mount �Bhutan and Bangladesh-type� operations against the militant outfits, including ULFA. India is particularly keen to track down the elusive ULFA commander-in-chief, Paresh Baruah.
Briefing newsmen at the conclusion of the third BIMSTEC Summit and the bilateral meetings that the Indian Prime Minister has held with the leaders, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid described the two-day visit as a success and �an example of India�s growing importance in world affairs�.
Referring to the Prime Minister�s meeting with President of Myanmar, U Thein Sein, he said India has received cooperation.
�We have received cooperation, which is important for us because we need to trace the underground elements which escape from India into the border regions of Myanmar. On that issue, they were very much willing to share full information, seeking from us any information that will indicate that they need to do more. They expressed their gratitude for what we are doing upfront in the border management by helping them with border infrastructure,� said Khurshid.
As reported, India raised with Myanmar the issue of the presence of militant bases in the country, including those operated by ULFA and Manipuri underground groups.
Meanwhile, the External Affairs Minister said that connectivity and people-to-people contact between the North-eastern States and the neighbouring South East Asian countries, mainly Myanmar, would increase in coming years. Myanmar has agreed that many of their ministers would be travelling to India to provide much greater connectivity, looking at the possibility of introducing more flights to bring in people. �Myanmar has urged India to talk to our airlines and persuade them to have greater connectivity with them,� Khurshid said.
�In ASEAN, the critical aspect is connectivity and our Look East Policy is about many things. It is also about giving to the North-east an opportunity to grow as fast and as categorically as the rest of India and this is a good sign. We have our Chief Ministers beginning to travel to the neighbouring districts in Myanmar, more of their heads of districts and States are now wanting to come and are actually coming across to the North-east,� he said.
About Dr Manmohan Singh�s meeting with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, Khurshid said that Bangladesh was very forthcoming in indicating to the Prime Minister their appreciation that India has finally been able to get the Land Boundary Agreement Legislation before Parliament. �She appreciated that a parliamentary committee would look into it and expressed the hope that perhaps in the future all parties together would support it after the election,� he said.
�The Bangladesh Prime Minister was very gracious and very generous in saying that she appreciated the difficulties we faced in Parliament. She thinks that once this legislation goes through, it would be a major landmark, something that has been pending for such a long time,� Khurshid said.
The External Affairs Minister disclosed that Bangladesh wants India to transfer power from Odisha. But we believe that what she is seeking from Odisha is not possible because the power grid is not available via Bengal. But we will get the power transfer from other sources,� he said.
�There are obviously hiccups and impediments but it won�t stop relations from growing. They must realise that it is not a one-way street but a mutual relationship. India is not doing a favour to a neighbour, India is doing a favour to itself. Because it is a win-win situation for both and an ultimate consolidation of our friendship,� he pointed out.
�The BIMSTEC is a small group of countries and it is important that our relationships remain sound and positive with Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. The Prime Minister said to Bhutan�s Prime Minister that our security perceptions and our destiny is intertwined and that�s probably true about all these countries in this region, despite the difficulties that arise from time,� he said.