NEW DELHI - India has made a unilateral decision to halt the free movement of people along its border with Myanmar.
A recommendation has been put forward officially by the Home Ministry to erect a fence along the 1,643-km border to enhance surveillance.
The move comes amidst ongoing ethnic tensions between major tribes in the border state of Manipur; Home Ministry has also proposed an immediate suspension of the Free Movement Regime (FMR) between India and Myanmar, which permits tribes residing along the border to travel up to 16 km into each other's territory without a visa.
Commenting on the decision, Home Minister Amit Shah emphasized that the decision aims to bolster internal security and preserve the demographic makeup of India's northeastern states bordering Myanmar.
The decision comes a year after Manipur's Chief Minister N Biren Singh called for the permanent closure of the state's 390 km border with Myanmar to stem illegal immigration.
The Ministry of External Affairs is currently in the process of discontinuing the FMR, as recommended by the Home Ministry.
The Free Movement Regime has been in effect since 2018 and allowed tribes from bordering regions of India and Myanmar to traverse up to 16 km into each other's territories with a border pass, fostering closer ties under the Modi government's Act East policy.
The measure to end the free movement of people would make it necessary to carry a passport and visa for crossing the border.
The India-Myanmar border, stretching across Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh, currently operates under the FMR protocol to bolster trade and business ties with Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific.
The Indian authorities are pushing for the termination of the regime to halt its misuse by insurgent groups who launch attacks on the Indian side and escape into Myanmar besides countering drug and gold smuggling networks.
What is bothering the Indian authorities is that the Mizoram area has also experienced an influx of anti-Junta rebels in the thousands following the military coup in Myanmar on February 1, 2021, with several thousand refugees now residing in various parts of the state.
Pakistani currency remains largely stable against US dollar in the open market on February 27, 2024 (Tuesday).
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.4 for buying and 282.3 for selling.
Euro currently stands at 303 for buying and 306 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 351.5 for buying, and 355 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 76.7.
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