With the alleged nexus between Maoist groups of Bhutan and militants in northeast India coming to the fore, the two countries have pledged for a joint fight in securing their borders besides stationing more guards at the frontiers.

At the 6th Indo-Bhutan Border Meeting, Bhutan Home Secretary Penden Wangchuk expressed concern over reports that insurgents groups are being trained in the northeastern states of Manipur and Nagaland.

"If militants are trained, they can be a threat to Bhutan, because it's mutual as threat to Bhutan comes from Indian insurgent groups flushed out from Bhutanese soil in2003," he said.

"The insurgents are linked to Maoists and militants of eastern Nepal and they can pose a threat to security," Mr. Wangchuk was quoted as saying by state-run newspaper Kuensel.

A member of the Indian delegation said there were links between the Communist Party of Bhutan and northeast rebel groups like ULFA, NDFB and KLO.

The two sides viewed these groups as a threat to the peace, security and tranquillity and discussed measures like strengthening and deployment of Bhutanese security forces, as well as SSB forces, along the borders.

Mr. Wangchuk said the government would conduct extensive patrolling to safeguard the border areas. India has given training support to Bhutanese police to strengthen and develop their capacity. With this, Bhutan will not give any opportunity to infiltrate the border, he said.

"Their aim is to disturb peace and harmony, but we'll take precautionary measures to ensure that they're kept under watch."

Secretary (border management) Vinay Kumar, who headed the Indian delegation, said the two governments decided that they would share any information regarding security and anti-government activities.

"Country's security comes first. The cooperation between the two countries fighting insurgents was evident from the 2003 flush-out operation. If our borders are safe, our countries are safe," he said.

The two sides also discussed the possibility of militants entering Bhutan following the crackdown on them by the Bangladesh government and requisite action.

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