PM’s envoy to meet NSCN (IM) leadersNotwithstanding the tensions created between the Centre and the Isac-Muivah faction of the NSCN over the abortive attempt on the life of Nagland Chief Minister S. C. Jamir, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s special envoy K. Padmanabhiah will meet the Naga leaders soon. Mr. Padmanabhiah has already met the Naga leaders on a couple of occasions to find an amicable solution to the vexed Naga problem through negotiations.
Despite criticisms that the ongoing talks between the two was heading nowhere, Mr. Padmanabhaiah in a recent TV interview expressed satisfaction over the progess of the talks and looked confident of finding a solution to the decades old problem soon. He, however, refused to divulge any further details on the pretext that it might derail the talks.
On the other hand, notwithstanding the attack on his life, Nagaland Chief Minister S. C. Jamir categorically stated that he wanted the peace process to continue. However, he said that the NSCN (IM) must be told to strictly adhere to the ground rules, otherwise the peace process would become meaningless. He is confident that the Naga people would give a befitting reply to those who were oppose to the return of peace in the State.
During his recent visit to New Delhi, Mr. Jamir met the Prime Minister. It is learnt that he expressed his dissatisfaction for not involving the State Government in the ongoing peace talks and stressed strict adherence of the ground rules. He reportedly told it to the Centre that the State Government could not remain a silent spectator if the underground outfit continues to take lives of the innocent people.
To deal with the situation, it is learnt that the Centre is considering a three-pronged strategy. As per the strategy, the Centre is thinking in terms of including the State Government in the talks at a later stage. To ensure strict adherence of the ground rules, the Centre is firm on punishing those underground cadres, who will indulge in extortion and other crimes.
To deal with the demand of greater Nagaland, the Centre is contemplating to give more power to the Nagas residing in Manipur and Assam.
Mr. Padmanabhaiah is likely to inform the NSCN (IM) leaders about this strategy in the aforesaid meeting. A lot will depend on the response of the NSCN (IM) about the success of the strategy. Besides, the response of the State Governments of Assam and Manipur will also be crucial. If Nagas living in Manipur is going to get greater autonomy, other tribes like the Kukis will also put pressure on the Centre for the same.