Apr 08, 2010

Nagalim: “India Sincere to Solving Naga Problem”

Active ImageFormer Nagaland chief secretary and the Center’s new interlocutor RS Pandey said the Government of India is “honestly sincere” to find a solution to the protracted Naga political issue.



Below is an article published by Morung Express :

Talking to NEPS here at Raj Bhavan, Pandey, who arrived on Monday and would stay in Nagaland till April 10, said his coming to Nagaland was primarily to update himself on the prevailing atmosphere in the state. This is his maiden visit to Nagaland after assuming the office of Center’s interlocutorship for talks with the NSCN (IM).

On Naga “sovereignty”, the Center’s interlocutor had different approach to it. He said India had a concept of “shared sovereignty.”

In some matters, states are sovereign, while in some other the Center is. He went to explain that “sovereignty”  in matters of State List could be further augmented keeping the uniqueness of the Naga society. “That is where we have to explore to settle the problem,” he stated. Pandey also said the Nagas were “entitled to respect and self-dignity” and they had a right to developments available to them. “And their uniqueness should be respected,” he asserted. “And in this spirit, the dialogue is going on. But a conclusion is yet to reach,” he added.

On his recent meeting with NSCN (IM) General Secretary Th Muivah at Delhi, Pandey said  “I find they are also keen to resolve the problem. They felt that it has been going  on for a long time. It is time the process should be expedited. So the dialogue is going on and as I earlier said, the conclusion is yet to reach,” he said. He also disclosed that there was a spirit of understanding on both sides and thus optimism is there. “So long this spirit goes on, conclusion will be reached,” Pandey said.
Asked about his feeling on the responsibility bestowed upon him by the Center as he spent most prime of his life in Nagaland, Pandey, a 1972-batch Nagaland cadre IAS officer, said he spent about 20 years serving in various capacities up to Chief
Secretaryship in Nagaland. “If my association with the Nagas can bring permanent peace in the land, it will give me immense joy,” he said. “But we have to understand the problem with objectivity. We have also to understand contemporary realities and look to the future with a view to bring about the best in the society.”

He further averred that “whatever solution comes has to be broadly acceptable to the wide spectrum of the Naga public opinions.” Yet he felt that the sense of fear that had been still prevailing in the minds of the general publics should be removed, although it was good that killing had drastically come down. Giving credit for the drastic decline of factional killings to FNR and society at large, the Center’s interlocutor pointed out that “We have to live without fear and in that, the citizens can live with their chosen vocations.” “We want solution to it,” he said.

Stating that they would try all means to find solution to the Naga problem, Pandey said, “I always believe that when there is a will, there is a way.”  At the same time, the general Naga public feedback was that they wanted the Naga problem be solved as earlier as possible. “So with the public support, there is no point it cannot be solved,” he added. “Let us have firm belief in God and try our best.”

Pandey would be attending Mon Road Show cum Aoleang Festival on Wednesday and there too, he would be meeting wide cross sections of people before coming to Dimapur. He would leave Dimapur for Delhi on April 10.