The main purpose of the cease-fire between the Government of India (GOI) and the National Socialist council of Nagalim (NSCN) is to facilitate for a purposeful political dialogue between the two entities to bring an amicable settlement of the decades long conflict between India and the Nagas. The NSCN’s serious concern is towards a sincere and meaningful political dialogue rather than interpretations of the cease-fire ground rules. If an amicable political settlement is arrived at, then it is the fulfillment of the cease-fire ground rules. But if the political dialogue breaks down what is the use of the cease-fire ground rules? So let us not focus much on the cease-fire ground rules but rather focus on the political talks.
But when we consider the present escalated operations of the Indian Army and Paramilitary forces in the form of unabated checking and frisking and also house raids throughout Nagalim, we are very much skeptical whether cease-fire actually exists between the GOI and the NSCN and we also doubt the sincerity of the Indian Government. The much provocative actions of the Indian Army and paramilitary forces and vitiating the peaceful atmosphere in Nagalim is a serious concern for the NSCN as well as the Naga Populace.
If the GOI wants to call off the cease-fire, it must politely tell the NSCN in an unambiguous voice instead of playing hypocrisies. If the GOI wants to maintain cease-fire, it must respect the hard earned cease-fire. Much harm has already been done to the NSCN under the shadow of the cease-fire. We want the GOI and its machineries to respect the cease-fire whole-heartedly.
If we want to talk about the terms of the ceasefire here, then the preamble or preface of the cease-fire ground rules agreed upon on the 12th December, 1997 runs thus, “The cease-fire with a view to ensuring continuance of an effective cease-fire to pave way for a peaceful and meaningful political dialogue…”. Again the preamble of the revised cease-fire Ground rules finalized in January, 2001 states, “with a view to make the cease-fire more effective and to create a proper and conducive atmosphere for a peaceful and meaningful political dialogue”.
From all these statements the cease-fire was and is focused on political dialogue and settlement. But the way the Indian army and paramilitary forces are acting at present is quite contradictory and provocative. The first clause of the ground rules runs thus, “there would be no offensive operations like ambush, raid and attack leading to death/injury/damage or loss of property against the NSCN by the Indian army, paramilitary forces and the police”.
But the wonder is what the Indian army and paramilitary forces are doing at present. Attacks, raids and making arrests against the NSCN cadres are daily occurrence. Therefore, the NSCN urges the Indian government machineries not to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in Nagalim and give due respect to the existing cease-fire, and maintain code of conduct of ceasefire.