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Centre hopeful of early solution; Pillai optimistic on solution by year end; Pandey guarded
Published on 18 Apr. 2011 12:39 AM IST
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Government of India’s interlocutor for talks with the NSCN (I-M), R.S Pandey IAS (retd) and union home secretary, G.K Pillai, both have expressed happiness at the progress of the talks between the two entities. However, while Pillai said that the centre was hopeful of a solution by year end, Pandey was guarded and refused to comment on the time frame for the final solution to the protracted Naga political issue.
Pitching on the progress of the talks between the centre and the NSCN (I-M), the union home secretary, G.K Pillai has said that the government of India was hopeful of a solution to the over 60-year old Naga political issue by year end.
For this, Pillai said that the people of Nagaland should also do a lot of homework. Talking to NEPS at Delhi, Pillai expressed happiness on the substantial progress made in the talks between the two entities and reminded of NSCN (I-M) general secretary Th. Muivah’s statement on the progress made in the talks. On Muivah’s return to Delhi, the discussions resumed with Centre’s interlocutor R.S Pandey. “We have confidence in them and are happy with the progress,” the home secretary said.
Asked about any time frame for solution to the Naga issue, Pillai said, “We are negotiating with the NSCN (I-M) and can’t say details of it.” He said realization of a solution depended much on the negotiations between the Centre the NSCN (I-M). Pillai also said that the neighbouring states of Nagaland would be consulted before entering into any final settlement to the Naga issue. “Everybody wants solution not only in Nagaland,” he said stressing that the basic aim was to strike a harmony and bring honorable settlement to the issue.
On the role of the DAN government as a facilitator to the peace process and remaining neutral, the home secretary said the DAN could do much more adding, “I think they should (State government) involve in the process.”
Asked when the Centre would start talks with the NSCN (K) which had also entered into ceasefire with the government of India since 2001, Pillai said the centre was waiting for the right opportunity and begin talks at the right time.
Pillai lamented on the recent spurt of factional violence claiming lives from the two NSCN factions. He pointed out that factional clashes came down to “zero” during the last two years but that the ‘ghost’ of factional clashes resurfaced during the past few months, claiming lives from both sides. He, however, hoped that better sense would prevail soon. Pillai said that any difference should be resolved through dialogue and not through violence. On ENPO’s demand for separate “Frontier Nagaland,” the home secretary said, “This is rather for the people of Nagaland to have a discussion and not anything with the government of India to do so.”
Pillai said that the government of India had received a memorandum from the ENPO demanding separate statehood as “Frontier Nagaland” by carving out four districts - Tuensang, Mon, Longleng and Kiphire.
He disclosed that the centre has already sent the matter to the Nagaland government and awaiting response from the latter. The ENPO had cited discrimination as its main point for demanding separate statehood. If such issue was there, Pillai said, the state government should solve it with the people of the region.
Unlike Pillai, the centre’s interlocutor for talks with the NSCN (I-M), R.S Pandey, IAS (retd) refused to give any time frame for the final solution to the Naga political issue but expressed hope that solution would be arrived at sooner than later. Talking to NEPS at his Delhi residence on Sunday, Pandey cautiously said on the time frame, “Time will come when I will talk (about time bound). Let us do the work first.”
Asked as to why he was not talking anything concrete even when both the government of India and the NSCN (I-M) has said that talks were progressing and were positive, Pandey said it was true that progress have been made and that both sides were sincere and wanted solution but added “nothing is final till everything is final.”
Pressed further to elaborate, the former Nagaland chief secretary, 1972 IAS batch of Nagaland Cadre, replied in Nagamese as translated here, “I shall share my opinion with you as to what is the position of the progress in this regard. It is like a journey from Dimapur to Kohima. We all are ready to leave from Dimapur. We however do not know what would happen on the way to Kohima because it is monsoon season. There may be landslides. But we shall try to reach Kohima by clearing those small roadblocks. If we can’t due to heavy roadblocks, we shall try to make bypasses to reach Kohima. Yet it is difficult to say precisely when we shall reach Kohima.”
It may be mentioned that the former Nagaland chief secretary was appointed as Center’s Interlocutor for talks with NSCN (I-M). His status is that of the cabinet secretary to the government of India. The Centre has full confidence in him that solution to the longstanding Naga issue would be found as early as possible.

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