23rd Feb 2022 12:02:AM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has raised expectations by asserting that Assam is ready to do anything it takes to resolve the vexed boundary disputes between Assam and Arunachal to maintain the age-old relations. He further stated that from April 2022, both governments would engage in a series of dialogues, and that most of the boundary disputes between the two states would be resolved within this year.
Last year, both states had agreed the decades-old interstate boundary dispute issue which has kept the two neighbouring states at loggerheads will be resolved outside the legal domain which has raised a fair amount of hope. The fact that the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister have made a direct intervention shows that the Centre too is also keen in having an early solution. However, there have been sporadic incidents which have shaken the confidence and optimism despite the announcement. The vandalism and opposition by locals of Assam over the construction of 70 km PMGSY road from Likabali to Durpai in Kangku Circle of Lower Siang district by the Arunachal Pradesh government on January 27 this year, was a setback. The incident which occurred a day after chief ministers of Arunachal and Assam, Pema Khandu and Himanta Biswa Sarma met to discuss the interstate boundary dispute proves that the contentious issue will be an acid test for policy makers.
The decision to settle the decades-old boundary issue with Assam “out of court” was taken in an all-party meeting convened by the Arunachal government on August 11 in 2021, for which a high power ministerial committee was constituted. Clearly, there is a lot of confidence-building to do. 
Going strictly by facts, along the 804-km boundary which the state shares with Assam, disputes at several places leading to violence and tension have been a regular feature and the Ministry of Home Affairs must be aware that it’s Arunachal which has been at the receiving end most of the times. The case has been pending in the Supreme Court since 1989 and it needs mentioning that maintenance of status quo as directed by the apex court has been only on paper.
However, an out-of-court settlement will only be successful in the long term if the trust factor is honoured by both sides. If the model proves successful, it will also open up the locked windows for settling the slew of similar border disputes the other NE states are entangled with. 
For people living in the interstate boundary and suffering from this decades-long vexed issue, Sarma’s words have given a glimmer of hope. There is a saying, if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. But for the tens of thousands affected by the border issue, we hope both governments will be able to walk the talk.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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