GUWAHATI, July 3 � Noted economist Dr Jayanta Madhab on Sunday stressed the need to build the missing linkages and infrastructure in order to make operational the Look East Policy that has been pushed as a major catalyst to transform the still backward North East.
Speaking at a seminar on �Exploring the linkages with Southeast Asia and China� organised by the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi and the Centre for Development and Peace Studies, Guwahati, Dr Madhab pointed out that except the Moreh-Tamu link, the Government of India was not keen to develop the other linkages.
�I believe that the North East will develop faster if we build the land routes to Myanmar, Laos and South West China linking the markets,� asserted Dr Madhab observing that from such ties the region is poised to gain as it will boost the tourism sector and other small trades.
Dr Madhab said that with expansion of trade between India and China and India and the ASEAN countries in the recent years, the ports in the country will not be in a position to handle the increasing volume and ultimately the land route will have to be opened up via the North East. �I truly believe that the much awaited destiny of North East to be the land bridge between a prosperous India and Pacific Rim/China is just round the corner,� he added, hoping that when trade would emerge beneficial to all the countries, border disputes would get amicably settled.
On the other hand, some other participants in the seminar took up the security aspect to this opening of land route between India and Southeast Asia particularly China and pointed out that extremists groups in the region have been receiving support from China.
Emphasizing the necessity for a long term strategy to enhance stability and security in the region that will help trade to flourish, Srikanth Kondapalli, Professor in Chinese Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi said that for the North East the water security issue should be kept in mind as China was building dams on the Brahmaputra. He said that there was a possibility of water diversion by China and India should not ignore this issue.