The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Negotiators turn the heat on NSCN
- Objections raised on Isak-Muivah faction sending emissary to China

Amsterdam, May 20: Indian negotiators have cautioned the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) “not to jeopardise the peace process through its actions” of associating with anti-India organisations or foreign countries which have nothing to do with the Naga issue.

In their meeting with general secretary of the NSCN (I-M) Thuingaleng Muivah here, the Indian negotiators, led by Union minister of state Oscar Fernandez, specially objected to the organisation sending an “emissary” to China recently.

Fernandez and former home secretary K. Padmanabhaiah, the two principal Indian negotiators, also objected to the NSCN (I-M) associating with Parliamentarians for National Self-Determination (PNSD), an organisation floated by a known India-baiter and Labour peer Lord Nazir Ahmed in the UK.

Originally from Mirpur in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), Ahmed also runs the Jammu and Kashmir Human Rights Commission in the UK. In the new forum, he is assisted by a Khalistani, Ranjit Singh Srai, as general secretary of the outfit.

New Delhi believes that PNSD has been launched only to give adverse publicity to India and only militant groups from India were invited to the inauguration, ignoring movements for self-determination elsewhere ' like in Baluchistan and in Gilgit and Baltistan in Pakistan.

NSCN (I-M)’s steering committee member Rh. Raising addressed the first meeting of PNSD in the British Parliament on May 11. New Delhi has found his associating the Naga issue with Khalistan and Kashmir provocative.

It has also taken serious note of Raising declaring in London, “We strongly feel the need for third party mediation” and urging the British as the former colonial power in India to show “moral responsibility to say something on the (Naga) issue so that justice is done.”

Muivah, on his part, defended both actions in his informal meetings with the negotiators as well as outside. He accused India of “talking only of negative things.”

On sending an emissary to China, Muivah said, “We can send our men anywhere in the world. The Indian attitude is always one of trying to contain the Nagas. We cannot be like a bird in a cage. We have the right to go anywhere and talk about our rights.”

He is believed to have told the Indian negotiators that he suspected attempts to contain his organisation. India, he claimed, was promoting the activities of the rival faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) and the United National Liberation Front (UNLF) of Manipur was bringing in arms through Myanmar which could be used against the Nagas. “Can we afford to be sitting ducks'” Muivah apparently asked the Indian negotiators.

Muivah told the Indian negotiators that the UNLF was paying “Rs 1 crore a month to the Myanmar junta” as protection money. “Do you think we cannot bring in arms if we want'” he apparently asked them. He claimed that the Nagas were not bringing any weapons into India because of the ceasefire agreement and assured Indian negotiators that no arms were being sourced from China or Pakistan.

But why associate with China or India-baiters in Britain when he was engaged in talks with Delhi' “We do not associate with anyone. But we have the right to attend international conferences which deal with the right to self-determination,” he replied.

Muivah defended Raising arguing for third party mediation in London even when some friendly facilitators are already helping the negotiating process.

“When there is no possibility of resolving the issue between two parties, thinking about a third party is logical. Why should India interpret it wrongly'” he asked. About arguing for a British role, Muivah said, “History is very clear ' after the colonial power retreated, many problems remained unresolved. The solution to those problems must have something to do with the British.”

Had he cleared Raising’s London speech' “He was talking of the national stand of the Nagas. Nobody’s permission is required for that,” he retorted.

The Naga leader claimed that he had entered the ceasefire process “to solve the problem through peaceful means but it is being used to dissipate us.”

He told the Indian negotiators that if the talks failed, the people would blame Delhi for its lack of initiative to take the peace process forward. He was told that both sides would have to take the blame if that happened.

“We have decided to move forward. Earlier, there was a feeling that there was no movement in the process. I have told them that now that the Assembly elections are over in India, we can have more frequent interactions,” Oscar Fernandez said.

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