NTIMES 20OCT: Ibobi in Delhi to discuss Naga political issue with Home Minister
4-MEMBER MANIPUR CABINET SUB-COMMITTEE TO MONITOR NAGA PEACE TALKS
Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh, heading a four-member Cabinet Sub Committee to monitor ongoing political negotiations between the government of India with NSCN (I-M) flew to Delhi Friday to hold a meeting with union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.
Ibobi’s visit comes a day after the Manipur cabinet formed the four-member Cabinet Sub-Committee to monitor developments in the Naga peace dialogue.
The committee headed by Ibobi includes Home minister G. Gaikhangam, Revenue minister Th. Debendra and Health and Family Welfare minister Phungzathang Tonsing. Ibobi wants to know from Shinde the central government’s ideas on settling the lingering Naga insurgency, a senior minister in the Ibobi cabinet said.
“The cabinet has endorsed the cabinet sub-committee to monitor the progress of the peace talks on likely developments and to be ready for any eventuality and emergencies”, a cabinet minister disclosed.
He also said that the cabinet sub-committee will inform all matters related with the peace talks to the cabinet for further discussion and necessary action.
“So far there was nothing to be apprehensive about Manipur’s territorial integrity” he said, adding “even though no decision was taken, chief minister will convey to the Centre over the issue during his visit to Delhi”.
Sources said, though a time frame has been set to respond to Centre’s appeal, “Ibobi would insist government of India to let him know on what grounds it was going to negotiate with the NSCN (I-M) and also on the latest development of the peace talks”.
Ibobi has said that he was not in a position to oblige since the details of the points of agreement between the government of India and the NSCN (I-M) “is not known to us”.
It may be pointed out that the fate of the finality of the ongoing negotiations hinges on the response of the Manipur government on the issue of ‘alternative arrangement’ which has been strongly demanded by the Nagas in Manipur’s four districts-Senapati, Tamenglong, Chandel and Ukhrul.
The demand is believed to be a crucial piece of the political jigsaw that would clinch an agreement between the two negotiating sides for a solution to the ongoing negotiation.
It may also be pointed out that veteran Naga politician S.C. Jamir former chief minister and Governor of Goa and Maharashtra, visited Imphal to meet Ibobi to discuss about helping in bringing about a solution. Jamir also met Ibobi in New Delhi recently over the same issue, sources said.
United Committee of Manipur has threatened to launch a mass campaign in case the state and central governments acted in a manner that adversely affected the people of Manipur.
Meanwhile, on the side lines of the inauguration of a new ADC HQ at Terit Nagar, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki said that peace is essential for development. The efforts of government of India on Naga talks would bring peace as Arunachal has no objection to the outcome between Nagaland and Centre, but let peace rule Arunachal, he said.
NCP on Naga solution, ensuing election
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Friday said the Naga political issue has to be settled on or before the end of December this year.
In a press release, NCP Nagaland unit vice president, N. Hotongse Sangtam said government of India must give “concrete” decision on “all the political problems” and the same has to be solved before the ensuing 2013 state general election.
NCP has also notified that the party would officially declare their candidates and the respective constituencies only by 2013 next. It has also requested all “active members” to continue their “workmanship” in their respective assembly constituencies.
Meanwhile, Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio told Times of India that if physical integration of contiguous Naga-inhabited territories is not possible, there should at least be emotional integration to resolve the Naga insurgency.
Rio said: “The Indian Constitution permits redrawing state boundaries for integration of Nagas. If that does not happen, there could be emotional integration of Naga people.”
He insisted that this was the most opportune time for the Indian government to resolve the “Naga political issue”. “The people of Nagaland want peace.
They are fed up with extortion and illegal activities. The Naga nationalist underground groups have never come as close to the state and central government as now,” he said. -NPN