Connectivity is key
Connectivity is key
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi setting off for the 18th Saarc Summit in Kathmandu, one key issue for the regional grouping is physical connectivity. In this regard, the motor vehicle agreement is an important item on the summit agenda. The agreement aims to create suitable conditions for seamless movement of goods and people through land routes across the Saarc member nations. Along with the proposed Saarc Regional Railways Agreement, this initiative is a big step forward for a region that has traditionally suffered from poor physical connectivity. Contrast this with China’s grand plans for intra-regional and even inter-continental connectivity. Beijing’s plans to promote a Silk Road Economic Belt is premised on massive construction of rail routes and roadways. The plan of a regional power grid too is important to address energy security among Saarc members. Modi is billed to meet Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif and if Pakistan allows the entry and transit of Indian goods and vehicles, this would be a major icebreaker between the two countries.
Bhagwan Thadani, Pune
A truly democratic Sri Lanka
Although Sri Lanka recently released Indian fishermen in a goodwill gesture, the fact is that the Tamil issue has not been properly handled by the successive governments in Sri Lanka. If you go through news reports over the years, Colombo has been, more often than not, a silent spectator to the actual concerns and basic rights of Tamil civilians of the island nation. Colombo must understand that Tamils have been living in Sri Lanka for over 200 years now, and they are as much part of the country as, say, African-Americans are of the US. Today there is an African-American president, will Sri Lanka ever get a Tamil president?
Bhopal Singh Verma
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