‘India’s best economic interests are served by closer integration with Asia’
Underlining Arunachal Pradesh’s core role as an integral part of the north-east, President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said India’s destiny lay in linking itself more and more with its Asian partners for development.
Outlining the “Look East” policy, the President said Arunachal Pradesh was a core stakeholder in making its neighbours partners in the country’s development.
“We believe that India’s future and out best economic interests are served by closer integration with Asia,” he told the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly on Friday.
He said the State as an integral and important part of the north-east region provided a longstanding civilisational bonds with its neighbours and by providing a natural bridge to South East Asia.
The importance of the visit of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces was not lost on anyone and he recapitulated the historical and cultural developments right from the days of the Mahabharata period. “Arunachal has always occupied a unique space in the Indian imagination,” he maintained.
He recounted the saga of sages Parashuram and Vyasa, King Bhishmaka and the marriage of Krishna with his consort Rukmini. He pointed out that the State was home to the 400-year-old Tawang Monastery and was the birth place of the sixth Dalai Lama.
The President called for urgency in the development of the State as it had common borders with three countries. “The development of border areas is also vital and must receive our utmost attention,” he said.
His stress was on development of infrastructure to develop north-east as an important investment destination and centre for trade and business as an effort towards harnessing the rise of Arunachal Pradesh and India’s growing economic integration with the region.
The road map to overcome the problem of remoteness, Mr. Mukherjee said, were linkages and connectivity with the rest of India. The State capital would be connected with the rail network within a couple of months.
The rail line will reach Naharlagun, old capital city, from Harmuti in Assam. Signalling systems were being installed and the statutory inspection of the Commissioner of Railway Safety was awaited before the section could be opened for commercial operation.
The President stressed on harnessing hydro-power which, he said, would make the State amongst the richest in the country. He hoped the authorities would implement projects that would generate the 46,000 MW.
How impressed he was by the customary and traditional laws of respective tribes could be gauged from his call for parliamentarians to imbibe them to resolve problems and distortions that had crept into the parliamentary system. Mr. Mukherjee read out the English translation of the poem that the councils recite as a resolve to be guided by reason and do justice and reach at a compromise acceptable to both parties in a dispute.
The President said: “Legislators had to be sensitive and responsive to the problems of the people and give voice to their grievances by raising them on the floor of the legislature. They must act as the link between the people and the government.”