Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang, speaking on the sidelines of the Northeast Connectivity Summit here, has said that his government is totally against the idea of raising the barbed wire fencing between India and Myanmar.
He rather suggested that instead of wasting money in fencing, both India and Myanmar should think about constructing roads and other amenities in the restricted area on both sides of the border, and added that in the absence of proper roads and communication, the area has turned into a fertile ground for militants.
Zeliang said that considering the unique landholding system among the Nagas, the Government of India should consider an unfenced border along the India-Myanmar border, instead of raising barbed wire fencing.
According to him, the improved roads will ensure better connectivity, improved trade and relations, as also effective counter insurgency operations by security forces.
He said he wanted policy makers and planners to clearly understand the peculiar nature of the Nagaland sector of the Indo-Myanmar border, which unlike other borders in the region does not have the problem of infiltration from across the border.
According to him the situation is more or less similar in Manipur and Mizoram.
The Nagaland chief minister viewed that taking advantage of the absence of the road communication and security movement, the militants have turned this area into a breeding ground for new cadres and this can only be stopped with the construction of roads and development of the area.
He asked the India government to start dialogue with Myanmar and come to a common conclusion for construction of roads and other developmental activities on both sides of the border.
Zeliang informed that like India, Myanmar is also in dialogue with the majority of the Naga militant groups who are on ceasefire and peace talks are continuing.
He hoped that by peaceful negotiation and talks, an amicable solution of the Naga issue can be derived.
The Defence and Home Ministries have been imposing various restrictions on construction and other development activities in bordering areas due to security reasons.
The summit has been organized by FICCI at Pragna Bhavan, Agartala with support of Govt of Tripura, Ministry of DoNER, North East Council and DIPP to formulate policies regarding connectivity in the region.