New Delhi: Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has said that Pakistan and China are behind illegal immigration in the northeast. He made this statement while addressing North East Region of India Bridging Gaps and Securing Borders Summit in New Delhi on Wednesday.
“Migration from Bangladesh is due to two reasons. One, they are running out of space. Large areas get flooded during the monsoon and they have constricted area to stay. So, people will continue coming into our place,” the Army Chief said. He added: “The other issue is a planned immigration that is taking place because of our western neighbour (Pakistan). They will always try and ensure that this area is taken over through proxy warfare. This proxy game is being very well played by our western neighbour and supported by our northern neighbour (China).
He said we need to understand the problem in northeast. “Is it identity problem? Is it a problem of development? Is it a problem of security? Or, is it a problem with the demography that is happening right now? I think it is all encompassing and we will have to look at it holistically,” the Army Chief said.
He also said that the Centre is seriously contemplating at addressing issues in the northeast with its Act East Policy and looking at development from Central prospective. “Development is the main issue and identifying the population of this area (northeast) with the population of mainland becomes important. The Centre is looking at northeast with right perspective and time will not be far when we will be able to amalgamate this region and with development will come the control of people of this region,” said the Army Chief.
Maintaining that it was difficult to change the population dynamics of northeast, General Rawat said, “There is a party called AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front). They have grown in a faster time-frame than the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) grew over the years. When we talk of Jan Sangh with two MPs and where they have reached, AIUDF is moving at a faster pace in the state of Assam.”
The AIUDF is a political party active in the Indian state of Assam. It is the champion of Muslims in Assam. The Army Chief said, “We have to live with the people of the region, irrespective of their caste, creed, religion or sex. If we understand that then we will be able to live together happily. We will have more trouble in segregating people.” Talking about Arunachal Pradesh, he said, “Arunachalis speak pure Hindi so amalgamating them with us is not a problem.” China claims parts of Arunachal Pradesh as its territory.