Assam Chief Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal and Nagaland Chief Minister, TR Zeliang on Monday held a meeting in Kaziranga and discussed ways to create a more cordial relation between the two neighbouring states.
A press release from the Nagaland CMO informed that it was an informal meeting, “more or less a get-together of very good neighbours who have finally found time to visit and pay respects to each other.”
Several pertinent issues were discussed during the meet. These included maintenance of peace and harmony along the Assam-Nagaland border and development of friendly relations among the people living in the area; outreach programmes for people to people contact; development of cooperation in areas such as intelligence-sharing on extremist activities, crime control in border areas, cooperation in action against Rhino poaching, and cooperation in updating of the National Register of Citizens in Assam.
“No problem or issue is too big to be solved when parties concerned get to meet each other across the table and discuss with an open mind, and with determination to solve the matter,” said the Nagaland Chief Minister. Zeliang further affirmed his declared stand that the border issues which have cropped up between the two neighbouring states from time to time should be solved amicably by the people instead of depending on the Court to pass a judgement.
The concept of meeting each other is the first step to maintain, nurture and promote cordial and lasting relation, Zeliang said and recalled how Nagaland was once a part of Assam.
He suggested that the border districts of Assam should be encouraged to use the facilities of Nagaland such as the airport and railway head in Dimapur as “their own”.
Zeliang went on to suggest protection and preservation of reserved forests with border areas of the two states, like Intangki in Nagaland and Dhansiri forest in Assam etc, and also promised to extend full cooperation to check the menace of poaching of the famed one-horned Rhino which is found exclusively in Assam. “Rhino poaching is a national problem,” he added.
On the strategic location of the two States vis-a-vis the Act East Policy of the Government of India, Zeliang suggested road connectivity with South East Asia from Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to Manipur- Nagaland-Assam, saying the policy can be successful only if the North East states are made active participants in trade and commerce activities.
The Assam CM meanwhile said “we must work together for mutual growth and move forward along with the rest of the country.” He added that differences and issues should be mutually addressed in a spirit of goodwill. Today’s meeting of the two Chief Ministers will send a positive message to the younger generations of both the states, and that people are eagerly awaiting the outcome of the meeting, he added.
Sonowal also responded positively to Zeliang’s invitation to attend this year’s Hornbill Festival, stating that several cultural troupes from Assam should participate in this year’s Hornbill Festival at Kisama.
He meanwhile suggested setting up of a committee for border areas consisting of the local MLAs/MPs and government officials so that petty issues are tackled mutually at the local level, and also to foster better relations between people. Assam CM was accompanied by several of his cabinet colleagues, MLAs, Jorhat MP and senior officials led by Chief Secretary Assam.
(Source: Morung Express)
(Image: Morung Express)