Guwahati: US ambassador Eric Garcetti said the world should respect India’s borders while unveiling a World War II museum in Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh. Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Garcetti inaugurated ‘The Hump WWII Museum’, the 2nd museum in Asia dedicated to the fallen airmen of the Allied forces during the WWII, at Pasighat in the northeastern state.
“Today how can we not but step up to be a great friend to India, to recognize her borders, all of them, and to respect them and to call on the world to do the same,” Garcetti said. The US ambassador’s comments are significant as China claims the northeastern state as its territory and has included it in its map and renamed places in it. Beijing routinely criticizes any official visit to the state; New Delhi has repeatedly dismissed China’s assertions, saying Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India.
Garcetti’s statement also comes in the backdrop of closer India-US diplomatic and defense ties. “We come here today not just to mark history but to make history. To see the ways with which each one of us is called not just to witness the past but to do something to change the future,” said Garcetti in his address.
“This isn’t a gift only to Arunachal Pradesh or to the families whose lives will be affected when they come here but it is a gift to India and to the world,” he added. The Hump, Garcetti claimed, isn’t just a museum in some remote part of India, half the world round from the US but already a world class museum.
Pilots of the Allied forces nicknamed the air route from airfields in Assam to those in Yunnan in southwest China ‘The Hump’ because their aircraft had to navigate deep gorges and then quickly fly over mountains rising beyond 10,000 feet.
Reminding that the US will always remain grateful to the people of the state for saving lives and helping US pilots and soldiers during the WWII while flying over the Hump, Garcetti said that such ‘human values’ binds the two countries together in friendship.