The path to ‘perilous’ peace

– Hueiyen Lanpao Editorial :: October 18, 2012

With each passing day, the issue over ‘imminent settlement’ of vexed Naga political problem after long 15 years of peace talks with Government of India is throwing up more surprises.

A day after a National daily carried the news report on its Monday edition wherein it was stated that the Government of India has secured a written commitment from the Isak-Muivah group of the NSCN to the effect that the latter has not only agreed to accept the Indian Constitution but also recognizes the impracticability of redrawing the boundaries of the existing States in North East, the Naga rebel group has refuted report strongly.

In a press communiqué issued by its ‘ministry of information and publicity, NSCN (IM) asserted that ‘if the Naga people under the leadership of Isak-Muivah would like to accept the Indian Constitution, they would have accepted the Shillong Accord when it was signed and there would not have been political negotiations for such 15 long years’.

Meanwhile, reports have come in about the proposed visit of NSCN-IM chairman Isak Chsi Swu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah to Nagaland for ‘home consultations’ (whatever that may be).

On the other hand, Khaplang headed NSCN faction has made it clear that after nearly 30,000 lives of the Nagas had been lost in the last 70 long years’ fight for protection of Naga sovereignty; it would never accept any piecemeal solution under any circumstances.

From all these developments, it appears that the ‘imminent settlement’ of the vexed Naga political problem is not that imminent and the road to peace only leads towards an uphill from now on.

As the celebrated Naga intellectual, Niketu Iralu has pointed out ‘…the competently organized NSCN (IM) consultations in Niuland, Bangkok, Hebron Camp, etc were very helpful initial steps in the right direction. But after those Consultations, the IM group needed to go on to the next step, namely, get all the different groups or ‘factions’ as we have come to call them, to sit down and thrash out differences together as leaders who have all made their share of mistakes, the precise terms for negotiation for a political settlement that would be honourable and acceptable to all Nagas and to India also, and therefore, would be workable.”

Yes, an ‘honourable, acceptable and workable’ solution may be the desire of all, but in the light of fierce opposition from other factions, which seem to be more at ease in trying to throttle each other than to shake hands, how one group alone is going to bring about such a solution is difficult to imagine even in the wildest dream.

The path to peace that NSCN (IM) and Government of India have been building upon for the last 15 years definitely has many rough edges that need to be smoothened.

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