KOHIMA, SEPTEMBER 14: Former Chief Minister and Leader of Naga People’s Front (NPF) Legislature Party TR Zeliang has expressed hope that AK Mishra’s appointment as the new Interlocutor would take the Naga peace talks forward towards solution.
Interacting with media persons after an official meeting in the State Assembly here today, Zeliang said the former Special Director of Intelligence Bureau Akshaya Kumar Mishra had been holding talks with the NSCN (IM) for almost a year after the Naga negotiators had refused to hold parleys with Interlocutor and Governor RN Ravi.
Since the NSCN (IM) refused to talk to Ravi, Government of India appointed Mishra as “broker” but now being a full-fledged Interlocutor he can take it forward, said Zeliang.
Zeliang opined that the GoI should not appoint two persons to resolve the Naga political issue and have separate dialogue for one talk and one agreement.
Practically it is not possible, rather it would further delay the process, so now after Ravi demits his office as Governor of Nagaland, a new Interlocutor (AK Mishra) has been appointed, he said.
“We do not know how he (Mishra) will take forward the talks, but he has been holding talks with the NSCN (IM) for the last more than a year… so now he becoming the Interlocutor is a good sign towards resolving the issue”, he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is sincere and AK Mishra is also sincere towards resolving the Naga issue, the only thing is they have to hammer out the difference on certain point like Naga flag and constitution, he said.
“This also can be resolved if both sides are sincere to achieve a solution”, he said.
With reports of the 7 NNPGs not welcoming the appointment of Mishra as the new Interlocutor, Zeliang said whether any group welcomes or not, if they want a solution they have to talk to the Interlocutor.
Asked if frequent change of Interlocutor would prolong solution to the vexed issue, Zeliang expressed optimism that it should not be prolonged because Mishra has been holding talks with NSCN (IM) for the last one year and he knows all the points and also the contention of the NSCN (IM).
“There should be no problem towards finding the final solution”, he hoped.
Zeliang also firmly believed that Mishra will be able to ‘break the ice’ as he has the confidence and authorisation of the Prime Minister.
Opposition-less govt. & apex Naga body will push for solution
Zeliang went on to state that once the talks resume, it will have the backup of an opposition-less government of the State as the 60 member House can make one approach both the groups – Working Committee of 7 Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) and NSCN(IM) to come together.
“We have also appealed to the 14 tribes of Nagaland to have one apex body so that all the tribes need not write to the Prime Minister or Home Minister or need not go to Delhi with the respective tribes views but they can form one apex body to represent all the tribes to meet the Central leaders and also both the Naga negotiating groups”, he said.
60 members with an apex body will be easier to communicate with one another unlike the past where all the tribes used to express different views confusing the Central leaders, he said.
The former Chief Minister also reiterated that the legislators and tribal bodies coming together can give a stronger voice to bring the two groups together.
Finalisation of NUG on Sept 18
On the delay in formation of the Nagaland United Government (NUG), Zeliang said with BJP national leaders giving the green signal to the State BJP to join the united government, the NDPP, NPF and BJP will have a sitting on September 18 to finalise the formation of NUG.
After that, the Government will write to the NLA Speaker to change the nomenclature from People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) Government to NUG with a copy to the Governor to complete the process.
Zeliang also reiterated that the NPF legislature Party has not placed any demand for allocation of any portfolio in the Government.
“We have joined the Government for an early solution to the Naga political issue”, he said
Our intention is towards the solution of the Naga issue, and not to share any other advantage in the present dispensation, he said, while adding “We wish that the Naga political issue is resolved before Christmas”.
It may be mentioned here that the Government of India has not yet officially announced a new Interlocutor for the Naga peace talks.
(Page News Service)