- Myanmar has indefinitely deferred signing an agreement with India to streamline the free movement of people within 16 km along the border.
- India is keen to sign the agreement but Myanmar — citing “domestic compulsions” — has asked more time before the agreement is sealed.
- The Union Cabinet had approved the agreement between India and Myanmar on land border crossing to enhance economic interaction between people of the two countries.
- To give it shape, the Centre had asked four States — Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram — that share the unfenced border with Myanmar to distribute “border pass” to all the residents living within 16 km from the border.
- An official said as per the proposal, there would have been no restrictions on the movement of people across the borders.
- The domiciles were to be allotted border passes and those going across for agriculture, work or to meet relatives should carry the pass at all times.
- The official said both the countries intend to put a system in place after India raised the issue of movement of extremists and smugglers freely across the border.
- India and Myanmar share a 1,643 km unfenced border along Arunachal Pradesh (520 km), Nagaland (215 km), Manipur (398 km) and Mizoram (510 km) and permit a ‘free movement’ regime upto 16 km beyond the border.