Arunachal, Assam sign pact to resolve decades-old border dispute

The CMs of both states signed a document that would go down in history as the ‘Namsai Declaration’

Namsai: In a historic step towards resolving the decades-old interstate boundary dispute between Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, the chief ministers of both the states on Friday signed a document that would go down in history as the ‘Namsai Declaration’.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu said the ‘declaration’, which has laid a solid foundation to end the interstate boundary issue, is the result of the commitment and resolve of BJP governments both in the states as well as in the centre.

“We are immensely grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji and Union Home Minister Amit Shah Ji for their continued guidance to ensure lasting peace in the North East region,” he said.

Khandu also profusely thanked his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma for his proactive involvement, commitment and resolve to bring bonhomie between all neighbouring states by bringing permanent and lasting solution to interstate boundary disputes.

“I don’t believe in blame-games but had there been a political will – as we have shown today – in the past, the issues between neighboring states, including interstate boundary disputes, could have been resolved. If there is a ‘political’ will, there’s always a ‘political’ way out,” he said.

Khandu termed the signing of the Namsai Declaration as historic and a road to peace along the boundary with Assam.

Sarma too extended his gratitude to PM Modi, Shah and Khandu for the historic milestone.

“We have decided to restrict the ‘disputed villages’ to 86 instead of 123. Based on our present boundary, we’ll try to resolve the rest by September 15, 2022,” Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted.

“Inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and guided by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, we could achieve this landmark in resolving our long-pending border disputes. This is a milestone in the history of our friendship and brotherhood,” Sarma added.

The meeting of the two chief ministers at Namsai is the third on resolving the interstate boundary dispute between the two neighbors. The first meet was held in January last and the second followed in April.

During the first meeting on January 24, 2022, it was decided that i) all border issue between Assam and Arunachal will be confined to those raised before the Local Commission in 2007, ii),the boundary line delineated and signed on the 29 Toposheets by the High Powered Tripartite Committee as notified during 1980 would be taken as basis for realignment of boundary by both states and iii)both states would constitute 12 Regional Committees each covering the 12 districts of Arunachal Pradesh and counterpart districts of Assam for joint verification of 123 villages to make recommendations to respective State Governments.

In line with the January agreement, subsequently both Assam and Arunachal Pradesh notified 12 Regional Committees.

In today’s meeting both the CMs agreed in principle to restrict the number of disputed villages to 86 instead of 123. The Regional Committees will submit their first tranche of report before September 15, 2022.

After the Regional Committees conclude their deliberations and agreement is reached between the two governments, the draft MoU will be referred to the Government of India for its approval. CMMC

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