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Modi: Naga peace accord will help entire northeast

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New Delhi:  Acknowledging the role of previous governments in the peace process in Nagaland, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday hoped that the successful talks with the (NSCN-IM)will pave the way for development in the entire northeast. “Every government tried doing something in this regard, some efforts succeeded, some did not. The process went on, and no government should take credit for it as every one of them contributed its bit and this resulted in successful talks with them (NSCN-IM),” he said while inaugurating the birth centenary celebrations of Naga leader Rani Gaidinliu. “I hope the journey (with NSCN-IM and others), which has started, would give good results,” he said. Modi also expressed regret that many freedom fighters and prominent personalities who contributed to the cause of the country were not “remembered adequately”. The prime minister said India must remember the glorious heritage of the freedom struggle and ensure that the legacy of the struggles and achievements of freedom fighters is passed on to succeeding generations.

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“It is our misfortune that people such as Rani Gaidinliu have either not been remembered adequately, or have been deliberately forgotten,” he said in his address. Gaidinliu, affectionately called Rani Maa, believed that her struggle for the Naga people against the British was also a struggle for India’s unity and integrity, he said. Modi also credited Gaidinliu with spreading the message of Mahatma Gandhi in the northeast region. Modi said Gaidinliu’s thoughts on living in harmony with nature could provide an answer to the problem of climate change being faced by the world today. The prime minister also spoke of his government’s initiatives for the development of the northeast. He reiterated that the progress of the northeast will provide a big boost to the development of the entire nation. “India will develop only if the northeast develops,” Modi said, adding that the central government was committed to overall development of the region. “We are putting in maximum efforts to build infrastructure in the northeast,” he said.

The prime minister also said that following the resolution of the border dispute with Bangladesh, connectivity with the northeast was set to become easier. “The northeast has now become closer to the rest of India.” Stating that the northeast was blessed with abundant natural bounty, he said the region has the potential to become the organic capital of the country. Coins of Rs.5 and Rs.100 were also released by the prime minister to mark the occasion. The Rs.5 coin will be circulated while the Rs.100 coin will be of commemorative nature. Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minster Arun Jaitley and Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh also spoke on the occasion. Rajnath Singh said as Durgawati and Rani Laxmi Bai were mentioned in the history of the freedom struggle, the name of Gaidinliu should have been given the same prominence. “Historians have failed to do justice with Rani Gaidinliu,” the home minister said, adding that the recent peace accord with the NSCN-IM takes forward her dream of securing peace and stability in the region.

Jaitley said that remembering Gaidinliu would help the northeast come closer to the mainstream. “It would go a long way in creating a sense of involvement (among the people there),” he said, addressing the function largely attended by school children. Jitendra Singh said Gaidinliu was a symbol of the legacy and heritage of the northeast. He also announced a fund of Rs.983.08 lakh for setting up a library-cum-museum at Kohima as a tribute to Gaidinliu. Born on January 26, 1915, Rani Gaidinliu joined her cousin Haipou Jadonang’s movement at the age of 13 to drive out the British from Manipur. In 1932, she was arrested at the age of 16 and sentenced to life in prison. She was released from Tura jail (now in Meghalaya) after having spent 14 years in various prisons. She died on February 17, 1993, at Longkao in Manipur. Nagaland Governor P.B. Acharya, Nagaland Chief minister T.R. Zeliang, Manipur Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh and Tourism and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma were also present on the occasion.

(IANS)

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Saudi, India Admit of Putting Pressure on Countries Supporting Terrorism

Prince Mohammad said the relations between two countries were "older than history" and these were "in blood".

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The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi at the signing of agreements between India and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on April 03, 2016. Wikipedia

Against the backdrop of the Pulwama terror attack, India and Saudi Arabia on Wednesday said there was a need to exert “all possible pressure” on countries which extend any kind of support to terror activities as they agreed for biennial summit meetings and formation of the Strategic Partnership Council.

However, at the joint interaction with the media after delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, there was no reference to Pakistan by either leader.

The Prince had just made a two-day visit to Pakistan that ended on Tuesday.

Modi said that the “barbaric terror attack” in Pulwama was another manifestation of the danger posed by terrorism to humanity.

“We agree that to deal with it effectively, there is need to put all possible pressure on countries which are giving any kind of support to terrorism,” Modi said.

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Modi said that the “barbaric terror attack” in Pulwama was another manifestation of the danger posed by terrorism to humanity. VOA

He said it was extremely necessary to destroy terror infrastructure and to punish terrorists and their supporters.

Modi said there was need for an action plan to deal with extremism so that the youths were not misguided by forces linked to terror and violence.

“I am happy that Saudi Arabia and India have common thoughts on this,” he said.

Prince Salman, in his remarks, said that extremism and terrorism were common concerns of the two countries and Saudi Arabia will fully cooperate with India.

“As far as the issue of extremism and terrorism, these are our common concerns. We want to tell India that we are ready to cooperate with you in every way, whether it is intelligence sharing.. Not only India but we will work with all the countries in the neighbourhood so that the future of the coming generations is secured,” he said.

Prince Mohammed said India offers investment opportunities of over $100 billon and his country will work to make investments beneficial for both countries.

He said the relations between two countries were “older than history” and these were “in blood”.

Modi said Saudi Arabia was among the most important strategic partners of India in the 21st century.

“It is in our extended neighbourhood, is a close friend and an important source of India’s energy needs. I am happy that in accordance with your suggestion, we have agreed for biennial summit meetings and Strategic Partnership Council. This will strengthen our ties,” he said.

 

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“We agree that to deal with it effectively, there is need to put all possible pressure on countries which are giving any kind of support to terrorism,” Modi said. Wikimedia

Modi said the two leaders discussed all aspects of the bilateral relationship and decided to take it to new heights. “We agreed to create a structure to facilitate institutional investment from Saudi Arabia. I welcome Saudi Arabia’s investment in infrastructure.”

He said time has come to turn energy relations to a strategic partnership and noted that Saudi Arabia’s participation in world’s largest refinery and strategic petroleum reserve will take their energy relationship beyond that of buyer and seller.

Modi said that the two countries have a common interest in ensuring peace and stability in West Asia and the Gulf.

“Today in our talks, there was agreement on accelerating mutual cooperation and partnership in this area,” he said.

The two countries also agreed that strong relations in counter-terrorism, ocean and cyber security will be mutually beneficial, he said.

He said the two countries have also decided to increase and expand their defence cooperation in the context of their strategic environment.

Modi said that e-visa facility for Saudi nationals is being expanded to boost trade and tourism and thanked Prince Salman for the increase in Haj quota for Indians.

He welcomed Saudi Arabia’s participation in International Solar Alliance.

“Peaceful use of nuclear energy, specially for water desalination and health will be another aspect of our cooperation,” he said.

 

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Modi said Saudi Arabia was among the most important strategic partners of India in the 21st century. Pixabay

He said presence of 2.7 million Indians in Saudi Arabia is an important link in bilateral ties. “You have always kept their welfare in mind and for this, their gratitude and good wishes are with you,” Modi said.

Earlier, the Crown Prince, who is on his first state visit to India, received a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhawan here.

 

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He told the media that the ties between India and the Arabian Peninsula “is in our DNA”.

“With the leadership of the President and the Prime Minister, I am sure we can create good things for Saudi Arabia and India,” he said.

Prince Mohammed arrived in the capital on Tuesday for a two-day visit and was received by Modi at the Palam airport. (IANS)