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'Pockets in NE States identified for opening up with neighbours'

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  27 Nov 2017 12:00 AM GMT

Kolkata, Nov 26: Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on Saturday said the Central government has identified many pockets in the Northeastern States for opening up with neighbouring countries.

On the Indo-Chi border disputes, he said the talks have been going on and stressed that India believed in friendly neighbourly relationships.

“We have identified so many pockets within Northeast in India, except the border with (area towards) Chi where we have problems, to open up with neighbouring countries,” he said at the India Today Conclave East.

Along with the infrastructural and connectivity development, the Central government has identified border trade, and relaxed “many things” along the border so that the life of people in those areas improved, he said, adding commissioning of integrated check posts and border ‘haats’ would help to open up with neighbouring country.

“Problem along the border line with Chi, it is not the creation during our time. This is a long-pending issue. There are talks going on and I do not want to put extra spin into that by commenting on what happens there.

“Since the Indo-Chi border along the McMahon line in Aruchal segment is undefined, border haats, integrated check posts and these kind of communications have been stopped since 1962. Besides, all other borders are being looked into properly,” Rijiju said.

He said India has no problems with any of the neighbouring countries “in terms of trade, political, cultural relationship and people-to-people connect”.

According to him, unless eastern India and Northeast India get into a particular mode, the dream of India becoming a super power would remain unrealised. “We had a Look East Policy and were looking at the Northeast but it was lacking in action. That’s why it has been turned into Act East Policy.”

“Considering the geography of the entire Southeast Asia, the northeast occupies a crucial position,” he added. He said only two per cent of the Northeast is connected with the rest of the country, and the rest 98 per cent with neighbouring countries.

Responding to a query on how the government is planning to overcome strategic vulnerabilities, he said: “We are not aggressive towards anybody but we are firmed in defending our interests. We believe everybody is equal and (also believe in) peaceful coexistence.” (IANS)

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