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Amidst all the hype about the Naga political solution which has been widely speculated about in various media, there appears to be a certain disconnect between the concerns and perspective of security forces and the political expediency of politicians in power at the Centre.
According to an official source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, political solution as understood by the Government of India is seen differently by the Home ministry and the Defence ministry.
While the Home ministry would be expected to take the interpretation of the Government of India’s Interlocutor R.N. Ravi, that solution can be achieved any time after dotting the ‘i’s and crossing the ‘t’s, Defence ministry sources are not taken in by the imagery.
The expectations are that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would like to use the Naga political solution to gain political dividends in 2019 if the BJP’s position becomes precarious under the onslaught of anti-Hindutva sentiments. Speculations about solution being one of the options goes with the belief that even the mandir issue could be exploited in the run up to 2019 Lok Sabha election.
One of the concerns of the security forces pertains to the issue of demobilisation of the armed group(s) and the policy towards rehabilitation of the armed cadres.
Sources disclosed that this issue has yet to be thoroughly and clearly defined by the Centre and its Interlocutor. The sources said the political aspect and perspective of finding an early settlement to the Naga political issue has been juggled by political considerations and neglecting the practical realities which the signatories will have to contend with after the agreement.
According to the sources, the negotiations should not accord implementation as a secondary matter since it would amount to rushing headlong to solution and inviting another problem which could seriously complicate the entire issue.
The Modi government has been able to bring out a framework agreement within one year over salient points which were discussed and negotiated over a period of nearly five years or more by the previous Interlocutor and former chief secretary Nagaland, R.S. Pandey.
Outcome of talks will be ‘positive’: Rijiju
PTI Adds: The ongoing Naga peace talks were being followed up with utmost sincerity and the outcome of the dialogue would be positive, Union minister of state for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said Sunday, but refused to give any time-frame for the signing of the final peace accord.
Rijiju also said the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act would be withdrawn from Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and other areas where it is in force once the security situation improves there.
Referring to the ongoing dialogue between the NSCN (I-M) and Government’s interlocutor, the minister said Narendra Modi government was the most sensitive toward the issues of the Nagas and the Northeast.
“The process of Naga talks are being followed up with utmost sincerity. So the outcome will be positive,” he told PTI in New Delhi.
Rijiju refused to say anything when asked about the possible dates for signing the final peace accord to bring lasting peace in insurgency-hit Nagaland.
However, in his recent statement, Rijiju had said that AFSPA, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, will continue in Nagaland as it is a “special case” and the “peace agreement” hasn’t been finalized there yet.
“Nagaland is a special case…the peace agreement has not come about yet. There are many underground factions as well. There are issues like rivalry among different factions…I cannot say about the future policy,” Rijiju said.