TODAY -

Veil of secrecy over Framework Agreement : Pervading air of suspicion
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: May 31 2017 -



There must be a reason why the Framework Agreement inked between the Centre and the NSCN (IM) is such a highly kept secret.

The BJP, notably Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP National president Amit Shah, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Centre’s Interlocutor to the peace talk RN Ravi have all maintained that the Framework Agreement does not contain anything inimical to the interest of the neighbouring States, particularly Manipur, but the question of greater importance is whether the assurances can be taken at face value.

That beating up the Framework Agreement issue did not work for the Congress in the just held Assembly election can be easily gauged from the fact that today it is the BJP which is heading the coalition Government, packing off the Congress after 15 years in power.

What however stands is that the shroud of mystery surrounding the pact with the NSCN (IM) has only gone on to further confuse the people and given more room to the people, particularly the people of Manipur, to view the peace talk with suspicion as the State stands to lose a large chunk of her territory if the demand for Greater Nagalim is given the nod.

Making things more uncertain is the fact that a number of NSCN (IM) leaders have on more than one occasion maintained the a Greater Lim is still very much there on its agenda.

Add to this the refusal of the Central Information Commission turning down a Right to Information petition seeking details of the Framework Agreement and the veil of secrecy is complete.

It will be interesting to see how the top BJP leadership campaign when Nagaland goes for its Assembly election sometime next year.

Will the BJP play to the gallery and harp on the ongoing peace process obliquely referring to the demand to bring all Naga inhabited areas under one administrative unit ?

This is but just a question at the moment, but an important question and in the world of politics nothing can be written off that easily.

At the risk of repeating a point, let it be clear to all concerned that the people of Manipur will have nothing against any settlement inked between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM), as long as it does not infringe on the interest of Manipur.

In other words, ink any agreement but that agreement should not compromise the territorial integrity of the State.

This has been the stand of Manipur and the BJP led coalition Government in Imphal too must have laid down this point in no uncertain terms to Delhi.

This is not to open old wounds, but just a reminder to all concerned that the longer the Framework Agreement is kept a secret, the more conspiracy theories there will be and this cannot be good for anyone.

Or is it a case of the BJP led Government at Delhi coming under the impression that inking a final pact with the NSCN (IM) is more important than the air of suspicion and distrust amongst people of different communities ?

Only the BJP can answer this.



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