TODAY -

From SoO pact to political dialogue : 2005/2008 to 2015
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: September 25 2015 -



Suspension of Operation or the SoO pact.

The natural progression from this is obviously a dialogue or a political negotiation.

Not that everything is clear, but it can be discerned that the SoO pact signed between the Government and the two Kuki conglomerate groups, Kuki National Organisation (KNO) and the United People’s Front (UPF) is about to enter the dialogue stage.

A welcome move it is, for a political dialogue is the best way to bring a settlement to any stand off between two or more entities.

It is not only the guns going silent which must have grabbed the interest of the keen observers but also the extremely long time it has taken to come to this stage. v The SoO pact was first signed between the Army (Centre) and the KNO and UPF way back in 2005.

The State Government however did not join the pact on the ground that it was not taken into confidence earlier. However things improved and Imphal too joined the pact in 2008.

The State Government was a latter entrant but in effect the pact is today 10 years old and it is only right that a political dialogue is initiated to settle the issues once and for all.

No peace pact can go on forever without some sort of a settlement and political negotiation is the first tangible step towards this.

So from SoO to now political dialogue, which may start anytime in the near future.

This is a welcome development and the State Government seems to be on the right track in mooting the idea that an interlocutor be appointed to ready the ground work for the dialogue.

This also seems to have come at the right time, given the fact that Churachandpur has been in turmoil after 9 people were killed in the protests against the three Bills passed by the State Assembly on August 31.

The sincerity of the State Government in starting a political dialogue may go some way in addressing the hurt psyche of the people in Churachandpur, Sadar Hills and other parts of the State.

Difficult to say what points the KNO and the UPF may put up when they sit down for the political dialogue, but any dialogue is a positive development.

This is a point which the State Government seems to have taken note of, if its decision to urge the Centre to appoint an interlocutor for the dialogue is any indication.

The Centre too needs to come around to the idea that it cannot continue to drag the issue for it is about finding a solution and bringing an end to all sorts of misunderstanding and confrontations.

Important to keep in mind too that it defeats the very purpose of peace or political settlement if in the process it kicks up more confrontations.

This is something which should not be overlooked at any cost. Peace, this is something which Manipur desperately needs at the moment.

For too long mutual suspicion and distrust have been dogging the people and the State and there is no reason why all the people should not back or support efforts to usher in peace.

Let the dialogue begin and let everybody appreciate the efforts that have been put in all these years to bring the SoO pact to this stage.



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