New Interlocutor can break Naga peace talk stalemate, says Zeliang
Kohima, Sep. 14 (EMN): Leader of Naga People’s Front (NPF) party TR Zeliang on Tuesday placed trust on the newly appointed Interlocutor Akshaya Kumar Mishra, saying that he “can break the ice” on Indo-Naga peace talk stalemate.
The government of India’s interlocutor for Naga peace talks, RN Ravi, who is also the governor of Nagaland, has been appointed as the new governor of Tamil Nadu at a time when his relations with the National Socialist Council of Nagalim-Isak Muivah (NSCN-IM) had soured and negotiations hit a deadlock over the issue of the latter’s demand for a separate flag and constitution.
As the stalemate continued, the then special director of Intelligence Bureau of India, AK Mishra, was tasked to speak to the group, which he had been doing for a year.
The former special director of IB has now been “assigned” as India’s interlocutor to the Indo-Naga peace talks by succeeding Ravi, who assumed the post in 2014.
“Mishra had been involved in the peace talks for about a year now and knows the Naga issue as well as the context of the NSCN (IM). They had been interacting in the past, so there should not be a problem,” Zeliang told journalists on Tuesday.
Zeliang, who had been interacting with the new interlocutor since last year, observed that he was “sincere in his approach” and that there should not be any doubt that he cannot break the ice.
“This is because Mishra has taken the confidence of the prime minister. He understood the reason as to why the Naga issue was prolonged for so many years,” the senior NPF legislator said.
He opined that the GoI should not assign two persons (interlocutor) to have dialogue for one cause or to resolve the Naga issue. ‘Keeping two persons and having parallel talk to resolve one solution and one agreement is practically not possible,’ he said.
While saying that he didn’t know how the new interlocutor would take the talks forward, he felt that having one interlocutor to resolve the Naga issue is a good sign, and more so because Mishra was involved in the issue prior to his new task.
‘PM is sincere and so is Mishra. The only thing is to hammer out the difference on certain points. That can be resolved if both sides are sincere towards resolving the Naga issue,’ he said.
‘When NSCN-IM refused to talk to Ravi, GoI worked out a formula that somebody should talk to them. So Mishra was assigned. But now, being a full-fledged interlocutor, he can take it forward,’ he added.