By Lester Makang
UKHRUL, December 11: Against the backdrop of the recent reports carried in certain sections of the media pertaining to the ongoing peace process between the NSCN-IM and the Government of India (GoI), the former has come up with a clarification which it claimed was a measure to pre-empt any possible infliction of doubts and confusion on the minds of the general public.
In an exclusive meeting today at Ukhrul, dy kilo kilonser, NSCN-IM, S Varah told this reporter that the statements made by the joint secretary (NE), MHA, Shambu Singh on the ongoing dialogue between the Naga outfit and GoI was disturbing and confusing.
Disclosing that any statements ragarding the talks should come from none except the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and the interlocutor, the outfit leader has said that Shambu Singh was not the right person to make any comments on the dialogue and thus his statements cannot be taken as official ones.
Reacting strongly to the statement of the joint secretary, NE, MHA that the outfit has ruled out its demand for sovereignty, Varah has maintained that the question of Naga sovereignity or integration should come into proper place for serious political discussion, while adding that sovereignty or integrating all Nagas is no crime because cutting Nagas’ homeland into pieces had been done without prior informed consent of the Nagas.
On the question of involvement of three states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur as stakeholders in the peace process which Singh claimed a must in a democratic set-up, Varah maintained that “bringing in the term “stakeholders” here is totally out of place because the Naga leaders are holding talks with the GoI at the highest level and not with any state governments.
On being quizzed about Indian states interest vis-a-vis the final settlement of the vexed Naga issue, he opined that the talk is happening between two separate political entities and the question of states’ interest does not arise.
In the meanwhile, the NSCN-IM leader reiterated that Naga leaders are confident of the wisdom of the GoI and not that of the Joint Secretary (NE), MHA.
“The ball is now in the court of GoI,” he said, nonetheless the outfit leader expressed desire that sufficient time be allowed for both parties rather than employing adverse instruments to thwart the hard-earned peace talks towards lasting peace.