Deadlock in Naga peace talks due to ego clash
GUWAHATI, JAN 17: Peace talks with the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (I-M) have been deadlocked mainly because of ego clash between the Government and the leaders of the outfit, while, formal talks with the NSCN(K) are yet to start as the outfit is not yet ready to start the process.
Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that the peace process came into a deadlock after the Centre’s decision to remove former Union Home Secretary K Padmanabhaiah from the position of interlocutor for talks with the NSCN (I-M) and what is interesting is that the talks were not deadlocked over any issue but because of ego clash.
Sources revealed that after the removal of the interlocutor, it was decided that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) would directly hold talks with the outfit and a formal letter was sent to the NSCN (I-M) general secretary Th Muivah requesting him to come to India for talks. But the NSCN (I-M) leaders refused to come and asserted that a formal letter inviting them for talks must come from the Prime Minister’s Office. Now the ego clash between the Government and the NSCN (I-M) is holding up the process of talks and no one knows as to when the process will resume.
However, on the positive side, the differences between the Government and the NSCN have come down over the years and now Muivah, who is in Amsterdam, is using an Indian passport. Sources said so far, the issue of sovereignty of Nagaland has not been discussed and the issue was not raised in the last charter of demands placed before the Government by the outfit.
On the other hand, the Government is concerned about the recent reports of visits of NSCN (I-M) leaders to China as the reasons for the visit are not yet known.
Sources said according to intelligence inputs, the NSCN (I-M) chairman Issac Swu and another senior leader of the outfit Anthony Shimrey visited China last year and the Government would raise the issue strongly in the next round of meeting with the outfit.
Meanwhile, formal talks with the NSCN (K) are yet to start despite the fact that the outfit signed a ceasefire pact with the Government in 2001. Sources said the differences between both the factions of the NSCN are yet to be resolved and both sides are still not willing to talk with the Government at the same time.
The NSCN (K) told the Government of India that they would start the process of talks only when the “process of talks with the NSCN (I-M) breaks down”, which proved that the NSCN(K) is waiting for the peace talks with the other faction to fail.
Sources said the Government of India is also concerned about reports of violation of ground rules of the ceasefire agreement by the NSCN (K) and the matter would be raised in the next round of talks on extension of term of the ceasefire agreement. They said the NSCN (K) is still allowing members of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) to use its bases, particularly in Myanmar, which is not acceptable to the Government of India.