Saturday, October 17, 2009

Govt moots Arunachal Scouts plan

The Centre seems to have belatedly woken up to Chinese belligerence over Arunachal Pradesh. The UPA government has agreed in principle to raise an Arunachal Scouts regiment on the lines of the Ladakh Scouts formed in 1963.
"Lakhs of local youth who are eager to serve the Indian Army and fight for the motherland are eager to join the Arunachal Scouts regiment," said a prominent Congress leader from the state. The Scouts regiment, familiar with the local terrain and conditions, could bolster and supplement the Indian Army in its fight against Chinese aggression.
Sources said the Arunachal government recently took up the proposal with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and defence minister A.K. Antony. All of them have okayed the proposal, but the finance ministry is yet to give its nod.
Takam Sanjoy, Lok Sabha MP from Arunachal West, adjoining Tawang and Itanagar, said the state government is confident that the finance ministry will clear the proposal.
A 10-member delegation led by chief minister Dorjee Khandu and including three MPs are meeting the Prime Minister, Congress president, finance minister, defence minister and national security adviser on October 19 to apprise them of the situation in the sensitive border state.
They would also press for the Scouts regiment, demand acceleration of development and infrastructure projects and increase defence preparedness along the border.
Sanjoy said India should have taken a strong and assertive stand on Arunachal much earlier. He, however, said there is no need to panic.
"No force on earth can alienate Arunachal Pradesh from India. It is not disputed. The laws for the state are made by Indian Parliament. I am an elected MP, we are Hindustanis (Indians)," he said.
Seeking a review of India's defence strategy for the eastern sector, he said China's only agenda is expansionism. "We would request the Centre to strengthen the existing infrastructure in the forward locations to ensure better surveillance and preparedness," Sanjoy said.
"The people of the state must feel secure. For strategic reasons, we need better surveillance along 1,080-km international border," he added.
The Arunachal West MP urged prompt decisions. "If you need a green airport, sanction it in two months. Slow decision-making process and red tape are affecting the growth of the border state." He said Google's maps showing Arunachal as a part of China are "part of an international conspiracy". 

No comments:

Post a Comment