By Oken Jeet Sandham
Kohima, Jan 29 (NEPS): As underground-related violence has drastically reduced to an all time low, coupled with NSCN (IM) chairman Isak Chishi Swuâ€™s recent acknowledging the Government of Indiaâ€™s â€œpositiveâ€ attitudes in finding lasting solution to the Indo-Naga political issue, the Center was hopeful that a â€œpermanent peaceâ€ would come to Nagaland as early as possible.
Talking to Oken Jeet Sandham, NEPS, over phone from Delhi today, Centerâ€™s interlocutor to political negotiations with NSCN (IM) RS Pandey expressed his happiness on seeing the peaceful atmosphere prevailing which, according to him, was conducive for political negotiations to find permanent solution to the Naga issue.
Asked about any timeframe for the solution to the Naga issue, the Centerâ€™s interlocutor said, â€œYou canâ€™t really say a definite timeframe for final settlement to the longstanding Naga issue.â€ He however sincerely believed that since both sides were sincere and coming to more understanding, solution to the problem would be found as early as possible.
Pandey said, â€œI always believe that when there is a will, there is a way.â€ And when both sides expressed their â€œwillâ€ to settle the over six-decades old Naga political issue, there would be a way to find a permanent solution to the issue, he stated.
Asked about his meeting with Swu, Pandey, former Nagaland chief secretary and a 1972-batch Nagaland cadre IAS officer, said he met the NSCN (IM) chief for the first time and found in him (Swu) the seriousness, sincerity and understanding to the issue and to find for â€œfinal solution.â€
He was happy to note that the two top leaders of the NSCN (IM) Isak Chishi Swu and Th Muivahâ€™s openly acknowledging positive attitudes and gestures of the Government of India towards finding a lasting solution to the long drawn out Naga political issue.
On last Sunday in a civic reception organized in honor of the NSCN (IM) Chairman and his lady wife by Nagas at Delhi, he (Swu) welcomed the Indian Governmentâ€™s positive attitudes towards the ongoing talks between group and interlocutor RS Pandey.
â€œI thank the Government of India for this initiative and hope that they would not miss the opportunity,â€ Swu said at Delhi. â€œWe acknowledge the positive attitude and effort of the government for creating such a conducive atmosphere.â€
â€œI have agreed to whatever statement he (Swu) gave,â€ Pandey said but he refused to divulge the nature of talks he held for the first time with the NSCN (IM) top leader. â€œIt will not be correct for me to share details of our negotiations at this moment,â€ he added. â€œI am not supposed to speak everything.â€
Pandey said the Naga people had been suffering for over 60 years due to this unresolved political issue and they were â€œentitled to respect and self-dignityâ€ and they had a right to developments available to them. â€œAnd I am profoundly happy and sincerely believe that since both sides are coming to more understanding and sincere towards lasting solution, solution would be found as early as possible,â€ he said adding, â€œAnd their uniqueness should be respected.â€
Earlier, the former Nagaland chief secretary got a shot in the arm while he first mooted the idea of â€œshared sovereigntyâ€ while approaching to the Naga issue. He said India had a concept of â€œshared sovereignty.â€ In some matters, States are sovereign, while in some other the Center is. He went to explain that sovereignty in matters of State List could be further augmented keeping the uniqueness of the Naga society. â€œThat is where we have to explore to settle the problem,â€ he stated.
By Oken Jeet Sandham