Source: The Hitavada      Date: 25 Apr 2018 11:48:55











Revoking of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in all its entirety from Meghalaya and in some parts from Arunachal Pradesh, signifies that the insurgency has been reduced considerably and the Government feels that the said areas are now safe from any further resistance from anti-national forces whose main aim has been to spread unrest in the region. That the Protected Area Permit has also been relaxed, opening the doors to tourists visiting the restricted areas, also points to the fact that the situation, in the till now volatile North-East region has improved considerably. Human rights activists, who have often touted the Act as ‘draconian’ and ‘unconstitutional’ will be a happy lot. But they must appreciate the extraordinary work done by the AFSPA under difficult and sensitive circumstances. If it were not for AFSPA, Manipur and probably other parts of the NE region might not have been a part of India. The Act has rightly prevented the terrorists in the region from having an upper hand, and its repeal now implies that hardwork done by AFSPA has finally paid off.


THE wide range of issues that inter-link India and China, two Asian powerhouses, makes it mandatory for the two nations to sit across the table and discuss ways that are mutually beneficial. And if two top counterparts take it upon themselves for an ‘informal’ chat then proper channels are opened for ironing out a lot of differences. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s two-day summit at Wuhan should be looked through this perspective. Both the leaders have a plethora of issues to discuss for a way forward. Two days is too short a period to expect something extraordinary, but gentle briefing of each other’s concerns in a bilateral dialogue often leads to a plausible platform to work on. Since the 72-day stand-off in Doka La, both nations have shown pressing urgency to sort out issues like border-sharing, CPEC, Belt and Road Initiative, NSG entry through multi-level dialogues. The Wuhan summit gives India and China further room to realise their own positions and a chance to reset their stance keeping in mind the changing geopolitics.