Without naming other neighbours, like Bangladesh on the eastern border, Mr. Narayanan in his key note address highlighted ‘peaceful relationship with other neighbouring countries is also necessary’.

While improving ties with Pakistan is important, the neighbour on the western border ‘should not be the only’ focus, a release quoting Governor M K Narayanan at a book-release programme has said.

Without naming other neighbours, like Bangladesh on the eastern border, Mr. Narayanan in his key note address highlighted ‘peaceful relationship with other neighbouring countries is also necessary’.

Quoting the Governor, the release said in dealing with the neighbours, there is an urgent need to manage relations ‘better’ between Delhi and the States (like Bengal) that border many of India's neighbours.

In a lecture delivered late last week, while releasing a book in the city, Mr. Narayanan said, ‘making up’ with Pakistan ‘should not be the only and main factor for establishing peace in the region’. The book-release programme was hosted by Observer Research Foundation (ORF), a policy think-tank, and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, USA. The ORF is supported by the Reliance Group.

Mr. Narayanan underscored the UPA-II’s failure to establish proper and workable relations with different State governments. In spite of introducing many schemes, the UPA-II government failed to reach out to the States, the Governor said.

“A government at the Centre can not succeed unless it has cooperation from the States and there is a need to create better relation and coordination between Delhi and the border States,” the release said, quoting Mr. Narayanan. He also said there is a need to transform the mindset of the military and make them understand the importance of the usage of technology.

Indo-China ties

Elaborating on India’s relations with China, Mr. Narayanan said, “I negotiated and signed the political parameters and guiding principles as a special representative on bilateral talks with China, along with my Chinese counterpart Di Ling Wu. Again for the framework agreement, which was much more complicated, I and my Chinese counterpart held nine meetings in four years inching our way towards an agreement and we did make considerable progress.”

“Both countries have had to contain the legacy of history, some written and some not written, which has made the task extremely difficult. The real success of the prolonged talks and detailed negotiations lies in helping sustain the broad policy of objective of maintaining peace and tranquillity on the border,” the ORF release said, quoting Mr. Narayanan.

Stating that non-alignment is ‘no longer a key driver of India’s foreign policy’, Mr. Narayanan said, “India does care not to be too close to be identified with programmes of countries, however, strong or important they might appear to be.”

“An excess of political interference with employment of departments like ministries, banks, and financial services has affected the country and has become a pain in the system,” Mr. Narayanan said.

More In: Kolkata