Muivah-Pandey talks held Consensus is needed to alter boundaries:RS Pandey
By Newmai News Network
Kohima, June 01: “One cannot simply rule out the history of the Nagas and anyone trying to rule out the aspiration of the Nagas can never be accepted by the Nagas,” said NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah while New Delhi’s emissary RS Pandey said that nothing is imposed on each other (Nagas and the Government of India).
Emerging from a three-hour long meeting with delegates of the central government at The Heritage (Old D.C Bungalow) in the heart of Kohima today, Muivah said, “We understand their problem and that’s why we are having patience. We hope the Government of India will come forward and solve the problem.”
Former Chief Secretary of Nagaland and the recently appointed New Delhi’s interlocutor, R.S Pandey, represented the Central Government while NSCN-IM General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah led the 12-member team of NSCN-IM during the meet.
Thuingaleng Muivah and R.S Pandey held a joint press conference after the talks today in Kohima.
The NSCN (I-M) general secretary said sincere efforts were being made by both sides to solve the Naga political problem. The outfit appeared stuck to its guns on the issue of sovereignty when Muivah said “sovereignty lies with the Naga people”.
Interlocutor in the Naga peace talks, R.S. Pandey, said the contiguous Naga-inhabited areas could be integrated only when there was a ‘consensus’.
“Consensus is needed to alter boundaries. But at the same time, the aspirations of the Nagas cannot be ignored,” Pandey told reporters.
Stating that the peace talks were in right direction, Pandey said that both sides are committed and seriously working for a negotiated settlement.
“We are keen to solve the problem at the earliest. However, as the issue is very sensitive, we are dealing it with all seriousness and carefulness,” Pandey said.
Th. Muivah then said,”Inspite of difficulties the government of India should solve the Naga political problem at the earliest.”
The Centre has, meanwhile, invited the NSCN (I-M) to New Delhi for the next round of talks. The dates will be finalized very soon, NSCN (I-M) sources said.
On the invitation by the Government of India to the NSCN-IM for talks in New Delhi, Th.Muivah said that the outfit would consult with the Naga people in this regard.
On the stalemate in Manipur cropped up after his proposed visit to Manipur, Thuingaleng Muivah said, “It was the creation of Manipur and not by the Nagas.” While boarding his vehicle before leaving The Heritage, a reporter asked about his visit to Manipur, Muivah said, “No one can stop me.”
The NSCN (I-M) entered into a ceasefire with the Centre in 1997. Since then, the two sides have held over sixty rounds of talks both within and outside the country. However, a solution continues to elude the Nagas.
The NSCN (I-M) demands the creation of Greater Nagaland by slicing off the Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh despite strong opposition by these three states.
The Nagaland Assembly passed resolutions on four occasions endorsing integration. The ruling DAN (Democratic Alliance of Nagaland) Government said it was the desire of the Nagas to live as one people under one administrative unit.