TODAY -

Trust deficit' in Naga talks:
But whether b/w Nagas and Centre or between NSCN-IM and NNPG ?

Nirendra Dev *



There may not be much forward looking movement in Naga peace parleys between the Government of India and the NSCN-IM.

But the Government of India is keen to keep the channel of communication on and hence yet another round of discussion is on cards in Delhi with the umbrella organisation NNPG next week. Sources claimed that the NNPG delegation led by N Kitovi Zhimomi had a fruitful interaction with peace emissary A K Mishra last week generating some hopes.

But the meeting between the NSCN-IM delegation and the Govt of India emissary on Nov 8 (Tuesday) was not quite encouraging. The vexed issues of Flag and a separate Naga Constitution apparently figured yet again.

Thus, sources say the issue of 'trust deficit' has figured prominently in the entire process of negotiations or peace talks. No side is committing anything clearly.

Hence, whether the 'deficit of trust' is between the Govt of India and Nagas or between the NNPG and the NSCN-IM vis-a-vis the backdrop of two rounds of discussions at the initiatives of Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) remains to be ascertained.

"This time we are more than happy.....and we are confident of an early breakthrough unlike others," one NNPG insider merely said when confronted after the three hour long meeting on Nov 5. Sources in Delhi echoed similar sentiments and maintained - "we are meeting again".

Next week's interaction is largely seen as part of that continuous process. But many social workers in Nagaland see these interactions between NNPG and the centre as part of routine exercise only. For its part, key stakeholders in Delhi are at times dismayed at the patience and silence displayed by the Naga civil society organisations.

"It is a peculiar situation we find. Privately everyone is restive and wants a solution to the vexed Naga issue, but when it comes to record keeping and public display, everything is so cool and calm," one informed source maintained.

Meanwhile, sources said the NNPG leaders have again reminded the Government of India that the umbrella body had decided to come forward for talks with the Indian leadership in 2017 as they wanted to ensure that "future generations" can live with dignity and respect.

In this context, they refer to the Deed of Commitment signed by NNPG leaders on Aug 8, 2017. In the 'Deed' they had pledged among other things that the political dialogue between the Govt of India and NNPGs shall uphold the interest of "Naga brothers and sisters living in Myanmar, Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh".

"We shall continue to extend fullest support and solidarity towards our Naga people irrespective of topography and habitation," the Deed of Commitment had said.

The Naga peace talks had commenced in 1997 during the tenure of I K Gujral as the Prime Minister. Prior to that Gujral's predecessor H D Deve Gowda had met NSCN-IM leaders Thuingaleng Muivah and Late Isak Chishi Swu in Zurich putting the peace process on formal track.

Other Naga underground groups came in later in February 2001 only during the tenure of Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the Prime Minister.


* Nirendra Dev wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at nirendev1(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on November 14 2022 .



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