Nagalim not to be discussed now
” The Centre, in turn, will not insist on the NSCN cadres laying down arms as a condition for taking the dialogue ahead. The interlocutors here are okay with the NSCN surrendering their weapons after a solution to the vexed Naga issue is in sight.
Given the express provision in the UPA’s CMP that territorial integrity of all states will be protected, it took a lot of convincing on the part of interlocutor K Padmanabhaiah to bring NSCN leaders Thuingaleng Muivah and Isak Chisi Swu to New Delhi once again for further talks.
Although the NSCN is keen to have Naga-speaking areas of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal merged with Nagaland to form Nagalim, there is no way that the demand can be conceded as it would go against the UPA’s policy not to tinker with territorial integrity of the states.
That the Naga rebel outfit has agreed nevertheless to continue the ceasefire and also visit India for a sustained dialogue over the next 4-5 months, shows its pragmatic approach, a senior official pointed out.
During last week’s talks between Mr Padmanabhaiah and NSCN in Bangkok, rebel leaders were persuaded against holding the peace dialogue to ransom over the Greater Nagaland. It could always be visited towards the end, when resolution of their other demands was in sight, they were told.
Besides, the future stand of Nagaland’s neighbours towards conceding their Naga-speaking areas could not be pre-judged. Also, the NSCN leaders were told, such “disputes” were not unknown in Independent India: Belgaum, for one, remains a bone of contention between Maharashtra and Karnataka.
NSCN leaders had during their visit early last year agreed to put Nagalim issue on the backburner. However, on the third day, Manipur CM declared after a meeting with the PM that he had assured him that any resolution of the Naga issue would not endanger territorial integrity of neighbouring states.
The rebels saw Mr Vajpayee’s assurance an “insult” and contrary to assurance to them. The rebel outfit consequently cut short talks and left the country.
“This is a qualitative change in the upcoming round...with talks set to be spread over several rounds stretching over 4-5 months, a final outcome, positive or negative, may emerge on several key demands,” a senior official pointed out.
Source: The Economic Times