R DUTTA CHOUDHURY
NEW DELHI, June 23 - The Government of India has formulated a policy to further improve ties with the neighbouring countries, which will hold the key to successful implementation of the Act East Policy. On the other hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not keen on piecemeal solution to the problem of militancy affecting the North East.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, highly placed sources in the Government of India said that the Prime Minister has clear ideas about the development of the North East and he is of the view that permanent peace and stability are required for all round development of the region. The Prime Minister is of the view that piecemeal solution of the problem of insurgency would not help the region and there is need for comprehensive solution of the problem. The Prime Minister is also keen on expediting the process of talks with the militant groups of Nagaland and other outfits, which have signed cease-fire agreements with the Government for solution of their problems for talks. However, at the same time, the Government has already made it clear that there would be no talk “under the shadow of guns”.
Sources said that during its second tenure, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government would vigorously peruse its “good neighbours” policy to further improve its relations with the neighbouring countries. The efforts made during the first tenure of the NDA Government has started paying dividends as for the first time, the Government of Myanmar launched a concerted operation to drive out the militants of the North East, who were using the territory of that country as safe sanctuary for years. The militants have already lost their bases in Bhutan and Bangladesh and it will be difficult for them to survive without their bases in Myanmar, sources pointed out.
Sources disclosed that good relation with the neighbours holds the key to the successful implementation of the Act East Policy, which is vital for the development of the North East. Efforts would be made to expedite the construction of the trilateral highway connecting India, Myanmar and Thailand. Once completed, the highway will give a major boost to the North East by opening its doors to the South East Asian countries. The Government has also decided to take effective steps in collaboration with the Government of Myanmar for the early completion of the Kaladan multipurpose project, which will open up the sea route to connect the North East. The Government of Bangladesh has already agreed on principle to allow India to use the Chittagong port and the Centre will take effective steps for completing the formalities required as soon as possible, sources added.
Sources also said that the Prime Minister has laid stress on improving road, rail, air and digital connectivity to the North East and several projects are already in various stages of completion, while, in the days to come, there is possibility of the region getting a number of new projects.