The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony has said ‘infrastructure development in the North East is now a top priority for the Government’. Addressing jawans on his maiden visit to Tawang today, Shri Antony said infrastructure development in the North East will not only contribute to the security of the nation but also accelerate the growth process of this vital region.
‘In the past, required attention was not given to this region. There is no point in finding fault with anybody. It’s our top most priority now to develop infrastructure in the North- East’, he said.
The Defence Minister, who was accompanied by the Chief of Army Staff Gen Deepak Kapoor, the Defence Secretary Shri Vijay Singh and other senior officials of MoD and the Army on his two day visit to Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, reiterated the Government’s commitment to the modernization of the Armed Forces.
‘ Our overall objective is to provide you with the latest equipment, so that our Armed Forces continue to be one of the best in the world. Our endeavour will be to ensure the all-round welfare of Armed Forces personnel and their families. I wish to assure you that we will do whatever is humanly possible to give you the best’, he said.
Recalling his long association with the North- East, Shri Antony said insurgency has neutralized some of the gains. He expressed confidence in the ability of the Armed Forces to bring back complete normalcy in the region. However, he asked the Forces to achieve the goal without victimizing the common man in any way.
‘ I have been a constant visitor to the North East since the mid-1980s. This region and its people are really beautiful, but insurgency has often undone other achievements. Dealing with insurgents requires high levels of patience, maturity and restraint. You must ensure at all times that the common man is not victimized in any way. I know the task is onerous, but I have full confidence in your abilities’, he said.
Earlier, on his arrival at Tawang helipad, Shri Antony was given a warm traditional welcome by the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Shri Dorje Khandu and several other dignitaries. Shri Antony drove down to the Tawang War Memorial and laid a wreath there. The 40-ft high multi-hued war memorial is dedicated to the martyrs of the 1962 Sino-Indian war and is nestled among picturesque snow-capped peaks overlooking the imposing Tawang – Chu valley. The Memorial has names of 2420 dead soldiers etched in gold on 32 black granite plaques.
The Defence Minister has since returned to New Delhi.