A high-level meeting of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) on Thursday decided to consult the Naga people before inking any peace accord with New Delhi.
Confirming the development, a top NSCN (I-M) functionary told The Hindu that the underground outfit was in the process of consultations but declined to divulge details.
The meeting held at NSCN (I-M) council headquarters at Camp Hebron was attended by top ranking leaders of the outfit, including that of its so-called Naga Army.
The meeting, the NSCN (I-M) leader said, fully backed chairman Isak Chisi Swu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah in their efforts to find an honourable solution through political negotiations with the Union government and described the path chosen as the correct one.
The meeting came in the backdrop of representatives of the Joint Legislators’ Forum of the Assembly led by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio reiterating the commitment of all 60 legislators of the House to quit their posts to pave the way for an “interim arrangement” and to facilitate a final settlement to the vexed Naga problem. Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has also hinted that a solution to the tangle was likely before March 2013 when the Assembly polls in Nagaland are due.
Earlier on August 14 in his speech on the occasion of the 33rd “Naga Independence day celebrations,” Mr. Isak Swu assured the Naga people that in the event of an imminent agreement, the outfit would come to them for consultation.
On October 18, Mr. Muivah told journalists after arriving at Dimapur airport from Delhi along with Mr. Swu and other NSCN (I-M) leaders that the ball was in the court of the Centre. Mr. Muivah, declined to spell out any timeframe for the final settlement but maintained that “the commitment from the highest level that the solution would be based on the unique history of the Nagas means a lot.” The NSCN (I-M) general secretary also went on record that there had been progress in the ongoing negotiations and hoped that “something honourable” would be achieved.
On Friday, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said the Centre had not held any discussion with him on issues pertaining to its ongoing peace talks with the NSCN (I-M). Mr. Gogoi said that he would definitely be happy if the two sides reached a final settlement at the earliest but cautioned that it should not be at the cost of the territorial integrity of Assam.
Keywords: Naga peace process