By Oken Jeet Sandham
KOHIMA, Nov 25 (NEPS): President of the ruling major Naga People’s Front (NPF) Dr Shurhozelie said some sections of the Naga people had misunderstood the very words of the “Alternative Arrangement” as part of the solution to the Naga political issue.
Talking to NEPS here Sunday, the NPF chief made it very clear of what they had been talking about the “Alternative Arrangement.” He said what they meant of the new “Arrangement” was to find out “solution” that was inclusive of all the Naga underground groups.
“If a settlement comes, it should be different from what we have today,” Dr Shurhozelie, who is also senior Minister in the DAN Ministry, stated. “But if the same thing is to continue, then there is no settlement.”
The NPF chief, however, disclosed that they did not know “What kind of solution will come?” “But if Delhi can reach separate arrangements for Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, that is a new different thing,” he added. “But what we have been talking of the new ‘Alternative Arrangement’ is inclusive of all the Naga underground groups.”
Dr Shurhozelie also reiterated that it was their “declared policy” right from the beginning that in the event of “any political settlement” to the Naga political issue was arrived at any day and any time, they would not stand on the way and pave the way for it.
With regard to the Joint Legislature Forum (JLF), the NPF chief explained that as political parties, they all put solution of Naga political problem as their priorities when the election came. “And if that is so, we have the same voice towards the solution of the Naga political problem,” he stated.
“Therefore, we thought for this important subject, we must come together and have the same voice and make appeal to the negotiating parties to hasten the process to bring about the political settlement,” Dr Shurhozelie said. “So we have agreed to come and form this JLF and I believe it (JLF) is sincere in its approach for an early solution to the Naga problem.”
With this in mind, they had gone to Delhi two times and impressed upon the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and others including the Leader of Opposition that the solution to the Naga issue should come before the State general election.
Asked why they wanted solution before the election, the NPF chief said the 60 MLAs, cutting across party lines, coming together under the banner of the JLF was a “great achievement” on their parts. “However, if nothing happens before the elections, we will go for elections,” he said. “The most important point is we do not know how many new faces will come to the new House in case we face the elections.”
“Then in that case, whether the new House will carry the same voice as we have today for an early solution,” he asked adding that “Only God knows.”
The veteran Naga politician, however, stated that they were only playing the role of the “facilitator” and they could not do more than that. “The decision has to be made by the negotiating parties,” he said.