Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Rio asks Centre to resolve political conflicts of the Northeast

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Kohima: Asserting the importance of the North-east in realising India’s Look East policy, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, on Wednesday said the Centre must resolve outstanding political issues and bring political stability to the region.

Resolution of political conflicts and subsequent containment of insurgency would ensure political stability and prevalence of peace and security in the region, a pre-requisite for all economic activities to take off, Rio said addressing the 5th general conference of North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) here.

He said “after having weighed both positive and negative aspects, it is time for the country to realise that the north eastern region is on the verge of becoming one of the country’s most important assets on all fronts,” and the only way for the Centre to turn the tables in its favour was to address the issues that that have plagued the region.

The chief minister said the majority of the people of the region were yet to understand that they were living in an area that has the potential to become one of the most important regions in the planet in the present century.

The economies of India, China and the ASEAN could be centered on the sister states of the North-east, he said, adding the region has the prospect of playing a contributory role in propelling the economies of the sub-continent and the ASEAN countries.

“It goes without saying that India’s Look East policy and the ASEAN’s interest in their west centers on this region, and the enormous scope and vast potentials are not difficult to gauge and the fact remains that we are located in a place of tremendous possibilities,” Rio said.

The region also has the potential of becoming a battleground for the powerful countries that border the north eastern states, because in some way or the other, it already is a region where countries and different ideologies were playing “proxy war with each other,” he said.

In this scenario, the people of the region have become innocent victims at times and prawns in bigger games on other occasions, Rio regretted.

The NE region had already become a corridor for illegal trade in drugs, narcotics and arms. “Like every coin has two sides, there are also positives and negatives,” he insisted.

Appreciating the Centre for initiating peace dialogues in certain pockets in the region, the chief minister insisted it was also imperative that the people of the region understand the present realities and be pragmatic.

While New Delhi must have the will to resolve the political issues, “we have to understand the difficulties of of the Government of India and be reasonable in our approach.”

Lauding the NESO for taking up the burning issues, particularly the illegal migrants problem in the region, Rio called upon the students and youth of the North-east to work for realising full economic potential of the region in the backdrop of Look East policy, but asked them to be more assertive on rights of the indigenous people and environmental protection.

Stating that every sister state of the region has its own strengths and weaknesses, Rio called upon the youth to learn from each other experiences for greater benefit of the North-east.

0He cited that the sustainable tourism model of Sikkim, micro cooperative farming of Meghalaya, sports power house of Manipur and human resources building of Assam could be models for others too.

The chief minister said “since we have to live together as neighbours in time to come, so let us foster a spirit of brotherhood and prosper together so that we contribute towards the nation building process by becoming the country’s treasured assets.”

The three-day NECO conference, which began here last evening, would deliberate on issues of illegal migrants, national registrars of citizenship (NRC), inner line permit (ILP), rights over land and resources, human resource development among others. (PTI)

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