The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs in its 213th report submitted to Rajya Sabha strongly recommended that the government should conclude the Naga peace talks at the earliest based on a “broad understanding over the most contentious issues.” The Committee wondered as to why there is a delay in concluding the peace talks when all other stakeholders other than the government appear to be eager to conclude it.
Expressing apprehension that the Naga groups and tribal bodies are becoming restless due to the delay in concluding the talks, the Committee recommended that the government should ‘tread carefully’ on the issues sensitive to the Nagas and not let vested interests hijack the peace narrative.
The Committee observes that any final agreement will have some implications for the three states of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, where Nagas are residing in certain areas. It is of the opinion that any agreement that may be finally arrived at must allay the fears of the stakeholders in these states and the state governments must be kept abreast with the emerging dynamics of the talks.
Referring to recent instance where representatives of all political parties, following an appeal by the Core Committee of Naga Tribal Hohos and Civil Society Organisations, had signed a declaration that they would abstain from the election if it is held without concluding the Naga Peace Agreement, the Committee in its report said, “This is indicative of the growing unrest among the Naga Hohos”. The Committee apprehends that any further delay may harm the progress achieved during the last few years.
Keeping in view the historical dynamics of insurgency, the Committee reminded the government that the most important aspect of any agreement with insurgents is the adequate rehabilitation and settlement programme for the cadres of the insurgent outfits.
“NSCN (IM), being the largest group in the entire region would have thousands of cadres who must be adequately settled to make the agreement successful and to prevent the emergence of any rebel splinter groups. The Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that the Ministry should prepare a detailed and generous rehabilitation-cum-settlement scheme for the cadres who will surrender as part of the agreement. The Committee also recommends that the government should, nevertheless, proactively stay prepared for any kind of scenario that may emerge in the aftermath of this agreement, and keep the security forces and the intelligence agencies on the alert,” the report said.