Interlocutor appointed as doubt looms Indo-Naga talks

Interlocutor appointed as doubt looms Indo-Naga talks
Dimapur | February 11: The NSCN (IM) has informed that it was yet to receive any official communiqué on the appointment of former Chief Secretary of Nagaland, RS Pandey, IAS Retired, as the new Interlocutor. Pandey has been appointed in place of former Home Secretary K Padmanabhaiah, who as an interlocutor handled for almost a decade the dialogue process with the NSCN (IM). Last September, the government relieved Padmanabhaiah from the responsibility. A Nagaland cadre IAS officer of 1972 batch, Pandey has served as chief secretary of Nagaland and is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Service in 2007 besides the UN Public Service Award in 2008.
When contacted by The Morung Express, Emissary to the Collective Leadership, “lt gen (retd)” VS Atem remained tight-lipped on being queried about the latest development on the announcement of a new Interlocutor. The emissary, who remains a key points-man in the negotiations with Delhi, also denied reports that the collective leadership had made a decision to come to Delhi in April for restarting the talks. Atem disclosed that no decision had been made on this front. It may be mentioned that yesterday, an official spokesman of the Home Ministry had informed that on the invitation of the Government of India, the NSCN (IM) leadership has proposed to come to India between April 1- 10 to hold talks and carry forward the peace process. Several media outlets have also reported on the coming visit of the collective leadership to Delhi for the April talks.
The GPRN’s kilonser (minister) for information and publicity, Vikiye Sumi had earlier told The Telegraph newspaper that they had not received any communiqué about the proposed visit of their leaders, but it would be decided by the joint council. Similarly, Rh. Raising, the secretary of steering committee, the highest policy-making body of the NSCN, said that according to the agreement with the centre, the talks should be held at the prime minister-level, in a third country and without pre-condition.
Atem also reiterated the same position when The Morung Express contacted him today evening. The NSCN (IM) has been maintaining the position that it has nothing to discuss with the Indian home ministry and that any proposal for talks must come through the Prime Minister’s Office.
Earlier in the day, the Centre welcomed the NSCN (IM)’s decision to hold talks with the Government. In a statement issued in New Delhi today, the Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram also stated that RS Pandey has been appointed as Interlocutor. “The Government of India welcomes the decision of the NSCN (IM) leadership to visit India and to hold talks with the Government”, the statement issued by Chidambaram maintained. In the same statement, the Union Home Ministry also expressed happiness over the appointment of RS Pandey, IAS (Retd.) as the Interlocutor and the Representative of the Government of India to hold talks with the NSCN (IM).
It may be mentioned that the UPA had constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) to negotiate with the NSCN (IM). The status of the GoM under Oscar Fernandes also remains uncertain as also the confusing signal coming from the establishment in Delhi. Union Home Secretary G K Pillai who had travelled to Nagaland soon after taking over was learnt to have conveyed to various civil society groups to urge the Naga groups to first unite before sitting for talks with Government of India.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *