The borders of the nation are being strengthened : External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar

New Delhi – External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday outlined two cross-border connectivity initiatives in South Asia, including a rail link between Bhutan and Assam and a coastal shipping agreement with Myanmar that could boost trade and people to people ties between Indian states and neighbouring countries. He pointed out, “We are in talks on the rail link between Bhutan and Assam. Bhutan is very keen to open more points for tourists and it is very good for Assam,” Jaishankar told journalists here.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar provided insights into the status of the India-China relationship, asserting that the crucial “border talks” between the two neighbouring nations have not been halted. Speaking at an event, Jaishankar emphasised that discussions between India and China on border-related matters are set to resume soon. “Post-2014, when there is a big push on border infrastructure, contestation and patrolling increased from the Chinese side. As far as the Bhutan-China talks are concerned, they are having negotiations, and 24 rounds have been completed. They will be holding more rounds. We track carefully what affects us. It is for them to determine the pace,” he said.

(Credit : WION)

Jaishankar said China has developed a large number of border villages, some close to the LAC and others in interior areas. The Indian side too made an allocation in its last budget to develop “vibrant villages”. This was done to provide better amenities, including road and digital connectivity, so that residents of border regions won’t move to interior areas, he said.