The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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NSCN warns of return to arms

Amsterdam, May 21: Threatening to pick up arms once again if Delhi continued making attempts to undermine his organisation, Thuingaleng Muivah, general secretary of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), described such a policy as “treacherous”.

While defending the activities of his organisation and extolling its “commitment to a peaceful solution”, the Naga leader adopted an accusatory tone towards India. He alleged that Delhi lacked sincerity of purpose.

“I told the Indian delegation that there is no problem from our side. We are committed to a peaceful solution and we honour our commitments. The problem is on their side. India does not honour its commitments. Even while dealing with us, it is helping other groups to erode our position. Is this the way to proceed with peace talks'” he asked.

He also accused Delhi of “double standards” in dealing with the NSCN (I-M). “When the Nagas are coming forward step by step, is it wise of India to drive them back' Indians have to think this through very carefully,” he said.

Delhi, he said, should realise that “if its forces go on killing our cadre, betray their commitment to ceasefire and its ground rules, go on supporting the traitors against us, then the Nagas will be compelled to fight back.”

The Naga leader warned: “Supporting others to undermine us is a treacherous policy. We will not hesitate to take up arms if forced by government of India’s policies.”

What about the NSCN(I-M)’s policy of dealing with foreign powers and associating with anti-India groups'

Trying to contain the fallout of the NSCN (I-M)’s latest diplomatic forays abroad, Muivah claimed that India was being “unnecessarily critical”.

“We sent our men to brief others of the progress in the peace talks with India and nothing else. We did not send them to ask for arms. Wherever they go they talk about the need for a solution through peaceful means. This is what our representatives did in London and in China,” he explained after being cautioned by India against such activities.

The Naga leader sought to underplay the incidents, saying that the Nagas were committed to a peaceful resolution of their conflict with India. “In every international forum, we make our commitment clear ' that efforts must continue for a peaceful settlement. We seek support (internationally) for peaceful negotiations. We do not advocate violence unless it is used against us,” he said.

Muivah claimed that the conference in London that was organised by the Parliamentarians for National Self-Determination passed a resolution for peaceful resolution of all such conflicts. “We support peaceful resolution of all conflicts in India ' whether in Kashmir or anywhere else. Is that wrong'” he asked.

“So the government of India should not selectively pick up certain issues and blow them out of proportion. Instead an attempt should be made to understand us correctly,” he advised.

The Naga leader admitted that Michael C. van Walt, the Dutch facilitator, had submitted some proposals for consideration of the two sides. Without revealing what they were, he said: “We are studying them and so is the Indian side. Any suggestion for a peaceful and honourable solution is acceptable to us. This is our policy and I told the Indian negotiators this.”

The Naga leader expressed his admiration for constitutional law expert Yash Ghai from Hong Kong University. “We had meetings with him because we want to be enlightened about various kinds of constitutions that exist in the world. He is a renowned international expert on constitutional law. We appreciate his vast knowledge and wisdom. I admire his attitude because he also seeks peaceful solutions,” Muivah said.

Had the Nagas sought his help in understanding the Indian Constitution or in drawing up their own constitution'

Muivah denied any such discussion. “We did not discuss the Naga issue with him.”

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