If we don’t take all three factions into account, no kind of agreement is going to succeed -Shambhu Singh
Even as the government of India has resolved to invite all three NSCN factions— NSCN (I-M), NSCN (K) and GPRN/NSCN, the recent statement made by the NSCN (I-M) expressing dismay over the GPRN/NSCN’s willingness to start a dialogue for “settlement within Nagaland state” has drawn the attention of the ministry of home affairs (MHA).
On Monday, NSCN (I-M) alleged that GPRN/NSCN’s move was a “calculated- deliberate step to sabotage the hard earned 14 years negotiations being held at the highest level of Gol and NSCN,”
NSCN (I-M) further said it was also an assault on the reconciliation process and that it would refrain from attending the May 21 Chiang Mai meet till “clarification was made to the Naga people” by GPRN/NSCN.
However, a senior government official told the Vision Communications that since the passports of NSCN (I-M)’s General Secretary Th. Muivah and Chairman Issak Chishi Swu has not been renewed, this apparently was the reason why the duo will not be attending the Chiang Mai meet.
But putting all speculations at rest, government of India has decided to go ahead and invite all three NSCN groups for peace talks. However, no time frame has been drawn. “In fact, this decision was already conveyed to the Issak-Muivah group by the Government of India” the official said.
Meanwhile, joint secretary (North East), MHA, Shambhu Singh said, “ground reality in Nagaland is that there are three major NSCN groups. If we don’t take all three factions into account, no kind of agreement is going to succeed.”
In this regard he said “we might have to open our doors to other groups as well. If all three are not on board, it will be a futile exercise to reach an agreement with one group.” He however said that depending on the progress of talks with NSCN (I-M), the government would “then probably take a call.”
On the issue of possible peace talks with NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) group, Singh said that “nothing concrete has emerged so far. No date has been fixed yet. We feel that there going to be a proposal for starting talks with the Kitovi faction in the near future.”
Regarding the report of GPRN/NSCN faction opposed to laying down of arms unless a settlement is reached, Singh reacted, “they have to deposit their weapons, if they want a settlement with the Government of India. In the entire country there is only one law.
One can keep arms after acquiring a license. Otherwise, it is illegal to keep unlicensed arms. And we will uphold the law of the land at any cost.”
With regard to NSCN (K) signing a ceasefire agreement with the Myanmar government, Singh observed that since “Khaplang is a Myanmarese citizen; he has every right to sign a ceasefire agreement with Myanmar. We have Indian elements in Khaplang group.
We have also extended the ceasefire agreement with Khaplang group for one more year. We can’t be seen discriminating or showing favour to one faction and disfavour to another. They should be treated at par.”
NSCN (K) Cease-fire Supervisory Board supervisor Lincoln told Vision Communications from Kohima over phone that “as and when Government of India invite us, we will make statement. Baba Khaplang is very serious to start a political dialogue to resolve the issue once and for all.”
Singh further pointed out that the signing of the peace truce between NSCN (K) and Myanmar government and its possible fallout was taken up at the “appropriate level”.
This issue also figured prominently at the just concluded Indo-Myanmar border management meeting held at the 57 Mountain Division Headquarter at Leimakhong, Manipur on May 8, he said.
The Myanmar delegation apparently sidestepped the ceasefire agreement issue stating that it must have been inked with the civil administration at Naypitaw, the report stated.