India desires great neighbourly ties with Pakistan and is dedicated to dealing with issues, if any, bilaterally, however any meaningful discussion can just be kept in a favorable atmosphere and the onus is on Islamabad to produce it, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla stated on Monday. In an address at a think-tank, he said current advancements in Myanmar refer “deep issue” and kept in mind that India is operating in the UN Security Council in a constructive way to facilitate “balanced outcomes” that might assist in resolving the situation.
Shringla described the gains made by Myanmar over the last decades on the course towards democracy and stated India has actually constantly been unfaltering in its support to the process of democratic transition in the nation for it to become a stable democratic federal union.
Majorly concentrating on India’s top priorities for the neighbourhood, Shringla highlighted the requirement for improving regional connection to even more higher economic development and even discussed the possibility of train link from India to Myanmar and additional to Thailand, Laos, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam and Bangladesh.”The stability, development and prosperity of those nearest to us will assist India and is in India’s interest. The area has for that reason received the greatest attention and focus in our diplomatic efforts and will continue to do so,” he said at the online discussion at Ananta Aspen Centre.Talking about India’s development support to the neighbouring countries, Shringla stated its lines of credit to the neighbours have leapt from USD 3.27 billion in 2014 to USD 14.7 billion in 2020.”The concern of whether economics drives politics – or the converse – is often talked about. The Area First policy stresses both,” he said.The foreign secretary also stated the volume of total trade with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka has increased from USD 19.44 billion to USD 26.455 billion in the last 6 years.”Greater economic combination within regions has actually been understood to produce a whole that is bigger than the sum of parts. Our policies in the area therefore lay the greatest emphasis on augmenting connectivity– physical, financial, energy, digital or even cultural,” he said.”We believe that this will amongst other things induce a virtuous cycle in which connection and growth feed each other,” he added.Shringla said advancement should go hand-in-hand with the development of India’s neighbours.”This is not just politically sound, from the perspective of relations between states, however economically expedient. An inter-connected region with greater economic development fosters trade and financial investment opportunities that offer the area a win-win situation,” he said.On Pakistan, he said any significant discussion can just be kept in a favorable environment and the onus is on Pakistan to produce such an atmosphere.Referring to Myanmar, Shringla stated India has been steadfast in its assistance to the process of democratic transition in that country.”Our developmental and humanitarian efforts in Myanmar have been focused on the socio-economic advancement of the nation. We need to continue with these efforts in the interest of individuals of Myanmar. We feel that individuals on the ground should not suffer,” he stated.”India will continue to carefully keep track of the scenario and remain engaged with similar countries to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the people of the nation. The worldwide neighborhood needs to interact and provide its significant assistance at this vital juncture, so that individuals of Myanmar do not suffer,” he said.On boosting regional transport links, Shringla mentioned the proposed Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) connection effort and said it can, through Myanmar, supply a link to East and South East Asia.”Future plans to enhance connectivity consist of extending the trilateral highway to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Trains that connect India and Myanmar and further to Thailand, Laos, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam and Bangladesh are all in the realm of possibility,” he said.The India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway project is being implemented.Shringla also spoke about the need for regional energy cooperation.”We understand that location and the distribution of resources can be leveraged for greater combination and we are working assiduously to promote the sub-region consisting of Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and India along with Sri Lanka as an energy hub,” he said.