Operation against ultras won't affect Act East policy, says govt

Operation against ultras won't affect Act East policy, says govt

In the backdrop of the surgical operation against militants in the North-East, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh on Thursday claimed that New Delhi’s ‘Act East’ policy would not suffer even if the Army escalates its operations along the porous Indo-Myanmar border.

Singh has been sent to Manipur as a special envoy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take stock of the situation following the June 4 ambush in Chandel where 18 jawans lost their lives, prompting the Army’s surgical strikes on militant camps along the border.

“We will continue with all the planned developmental works in Manipur, we are not afraid of the militants. The Centre will always stand by the side of people of Manipur and we will try to avoid any such tragic incident. We are committed to peace in Manipur,” Singh told reporters on reaching Imphal.

When asked if the denial by Myanmar government on any attack “inside its territory” and subsequent reports of Myanmar administration being “upset” over the presentation of the covert operation in the Indian media, Singh tried to duck saying that “the June 4 ambush and the subsequent Indian Army action would not affect the Act East policy that PM Modi is keenly pursuing”. 

India is trying to strengthen the trade and transport ties with Myanmar through Manipur. People of Manipur are also very keen on this, but with reports of Indian Army striking militant bases “inside” Myanmar, the buzz is strong in Imphal that it would hamper the prospects of the Act East policy.

Sources have added that New Delhi was two days ago briefed by the Manipur government on the public perception following which Modi asked Singh, who is also the Union DONER minister, to fly to Imphal as his special envoy.

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