KATHMANDU: Nepal and India began Home Secretary-level talks here on Friday.

Cross-border crime, security and several other issues of bilateral concern topped the agenda. Govinda Kusum and GK Pillai, Home Secretaries of Nepal and India, respectively, are participating in the dialogue.

Secretary Kusum said that porous border management was a major challenge for the nation. The armed outfits in the Tarai, women traffickers, smuggling of contraband and arms are some of the issues that confront Nepal. While, India is keen to finalise on the extradition treaty, strip map and prevent subversive activities against New Delhi from Nepali soil. Counterfeit currency racket and looming threat of terrorism have long been India's cause for concern. A source at the Indian Embassy here said that India had all along been ready to ink the extradition treaty and the accord on strip map. But Nepal has been delaying the process for the sake of broader political consensus. "We appreciate Nepal's problems. But, we don't want to prolong these outstanding issues," added the source.

Indian foreign secretary Nirupama Rao raised these twin issues with Nepali officials during her visit here last month. At that time it was agreed that this would be discussed during the Home Secretary-level talks.

The two neighbours also discussed how to make border communication links more effective in a bid to facilitate exchange of information.

The teams also discussed Indian assistance to the proposed Police Academy and training of immigration officers — an outcome of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal's visit to India in August. India had agreed to assist Nepal to build infrastructure for the Police Academy at Panauti in Kavre at an estimated cost of Rs 5.12 billion.

Indian Home Secretary GK Pillai also met PM Nepal at the latter's office in Singha Durbar on Friday.

A joint statement will be issued tomorrow after the two-day talks conclude.