Asserts that the Ceasefire agreement was “bilateral” and says one side alone cannot unilaterally drop clauses in the agreement.
DIMAPUR, JULY 23 : The NSCN (IM) has responded to the Chairman of the Cease-Fire Monitoring Group (CFMG), Lt. Gen. (Retd) NK Singh, for the latter’s comment on the area of coverage of the Ceasefire between the NSCN (IM) and Government of India. The NSCN (IM) alleged that the CFMG Chairman was being used as a “tool” by vested interests.
“What the NSCN observed and understood is that some vested interest officials in the Ministry of Home Affairs are using the CFMG chairman as their tool, maybe for their own personal interests”, Convener of the NSCN (IM) Cease-Fire Monitoring Cell (CFMC), Karibo Chawang told media persons at a press briefing held here at the CFMC office on Wednesday.
Kraibo was reacting to the CFMG chairman’s recent statement that the “ceasefire with the NSCN (IM) is under considerable stress due to repeated, deliberated and frequent serious violations of ceasefire ground rules” by the NSCN (IM). Singh had also quoted the Deputy Chief Minister of Manipur Mr. Gaikhangam and reiterated that the Ceasefire was operational only in Nagaland state and not extended to Manipur.
Responding specifically to the CFMG Chairman’s comment that Ceasefire was operational only in Nagaland state, Kraibo reminded that during the “Indo-Naga” peace talks held in Paris in 1998, the then GoI interlocutor Swaraj Kaushal had told the media that the Ceasefire covered not only Assam, Nagaland and Manipur but “even Delhi upto Paris.”
He further reminded that when the NSCN (IM) collective leadership met former Indian Prime Minsiter, AB Vajpayee, in Osaka, Japan, on December 8, 2002, Vajpayee had assured the NSCN (IM) leaders that “where there is fighting there will be ceasefire. It was the nature of Ceasefire as per the agreement entered into on June 14, 2001.”
The CFMC convenor displayed a copy of the “Joint Statement” signed by former GoI interlocutor, K Padnamabhaiah and NSCN (IM) General Secretary, Th. Muivah in Bangkok on June 14, 2001, wherein it was “mutually agreed upon” that “the cease-fire agreement is between the Government of India and the NSCN as two entities without territorial limits.”
Karibo also showed a copy of the letter written by former interlocutor Lt Gen (Retd) RV Kulkarni to the Joint Secretary (NE), MHA, on February 6, 2007, wherein the Director General Military Operations (DGMO) had reportedly told Kulkarni that the new location of the NSCN (IM) camp in Ukhrul “stands approved.”
“Now who is this chairman [NK Singh] to talk about coverage of ceasefire? If the GoI has assigned him only to the state of Nagaland, then that is the problem of the chairman or GoI, but not our problem”, the CFMC Convener said.
Asserting that the Ceasefire agreement was “bilateral” and that one side alone cannot unilaterally drop clauses in the agreement, Karibo questioned as to whether the NSCN (IM) should go by what the “Prime Minister” or “CFMG chairman” said.
“From day one when the present CFMG chairman assumed office, the way he has worked is all biased. In short, the NSCN (IM) became a victim of the ceasefire”, Kraibo said. He further claimed that the ceasefire is “more operative in Manipur, barring the valley district, as the hill districts are comparatively more peaceful.”