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Pandey lauds Isak’s acknowledgment of Cente’s sincerity

By Oken Jeet Sandham
Kohima, Jan 29 (NEPS): As underground-related violence has drastically reduced to an all time low, coupled with NSCN (IM) chairman Isak Chishi Swu’s recent acknowledging the Government of India’s “positive” attitudes in finding lasting solution to the Indo-Naga political issue, the Center was hopeful that a “permanent peace” would come to Nagaland as early as possible.
Talking to Oken Jeet Sandham, NEPS, over phone from Delhi today, Center’s interlocutor to political negotiations with NSCN (IM) RS Pandey expressed his happiness on seeing the peaceful atmosphere prevailing which, according to him, was conducive for political negotiations to find permanent solution to the Naga issue.
Asked about any timeframe for the solution to the Naga issue, the Center’s interlocutor said, “You can’t really say a definite timeframe for final settlement to the longstanding Naga issue.” He however sincerely believed that since both sides were sincere and coming to more understanding, solution to the problem would be found as early as possible.
Pandey said, “I always believe that when there is a will, there is a way.” And when both sides expressed their “will” to settle the over six-decades old Naga political issue, there would be a way to find a permanent solution to the issue, he stated.
Asked about his meeting with Swu, Pandey, former Nagaland chief secretary and a 1972-batch Nagaland cadre IAS officer, said he met the NSCN (IM) chief for the first time and found in him (Swu) the seriousness, sincerity and understanding to the issue and to find for “final solution.”
He was happy to note that the two top leaders of the NSCN (IM) Isak Chishi Swu and Th Muivah’s openly acknowledging positive attitudes and gestures of the Government of India towards finding a lasting solution to the long drawn out Naga political issue.
On last Sunday in a civic reception organized in honor of the NSCN (IM) Chairman and his lady wife by Nagas at Delhi, he (Swu) welcomed the Indian Government’s positive attitudes towards the ongoing talks between group and interlocutor RS Pandey.
“I thank the Government of India for this initiative and hope that they would not miss the opportunity,” Swu said at Delhi. “We acknowledge the positive attitude and effort of the government for creating such a conducive atmosphere.”
“I have agreed to whatever statement he (Swu) gave,” Pandey said but he refused to divulge the nature of talks he held for the first time with the NSCN (IM) top leader. “It will not be correct for me to share details of our negotiations at this moment,” he added. “I am not supposed to speak everything.”
Pandey said the Naga people had been suffering for over 60 years due to this unresolved political issue and they were “entitled to respect and self-dignity” and they had a right to developments available to them. “And I am profoundly happy and sincerely believe that since both sides are coming to more understanding and sincere towards lasting solution, solution would be found as early as possible,” he said adding, “And their uniqueness should be respected.”
Earlier, the former Nagaland chief secretary got a shot in the arm while he first mooted the idea of “shared sovereignty” while approaching to the Naga issue. 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.



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