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More peace, less militancy: What the historic Modi govt-NSCN (IM) pact means for India

by IRC-ADMIN - Aug 1 2015 12:00AM

Troubled lands of the North East seem to have enthralled Indian prime ministers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi'scs special interest in the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), Issac-Muivah faction named after Isak Swu and T Muivah, which culminated in the Centre-NSCN (IM) accord on 3 August must be giving a déjà vu feel to Northeast-watchers as Rajiv Gandhi too had kept North East very high on his priority list and signed a historic accord with rebels from another northeastern state – Mizoram.

Troubled lands of the North East seem to have enthralled Indian prime ministers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi'scs special interest in the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), Issac-Muivah faction named after Isak Swu and T Muivah, which culminated in the Centre-NSCN (IM) accord on 3 August must be giving a déjà vu feel to Northeast-watchers as Rajiv Gandhi too had kept North East very high on his priority list and signed a historic accord with rebels from another northeastern state – Mizoram. Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessing the exchange of historic peace accord between government of India NSCN(IM) in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessing the exchange of historic peace accord between government of India NSCN(IM) in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI Interestingly, both Modi and Rajiv signed historic northeast-specific accords in the second year of their prime ministership. This is Modi'scs moment in the sun as Rajiv Gandhi had his in 1986 when he had signed the Mizo peace accord with the then Mizo rebel leader Laldenga who soon thereafter went on to become the chief minister of Mizoram. The Centre-NSCN(IM) accord, which had been eluding for over six decades and now puts an end to India'scs longest running insurgency, is PM Modi'scs first major foray into the cobweb of militancy in the North East. It has been made possible as a result of sustained work done PM Modi himself taking personal interest. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, aided by RN Ravi, Centre'scs interlocutor for talks with NSCN (IM) and former Joint Director in-charge of the North East in Intelligence Bureau, played a pivotal role in the signing of this accord. The prime minister gave an indication of his special interest over the issue in his remarks after witnessing the signing of the accord at his official residence 7, Race Course Road. He said: "Since becoming prime minister last year, peace, security and economic transformation of North East has been amongst my highest priorities. It is also at the heart of my foreign policy, especially the ‘Act East'sc Policy. I have been deeply concerned about resolving the Naga issue. Soon after entering office, I appointed an interlocutor for talks with the Naga leaders, who not only understood the Naga people as also their aspirations and expectations, but has great affection and respect for them. Given the importance of this initiative, I asked my office to supervise these talks and I personally kept in touch with the progress." The historic Centre-NSCN(IM) accord will have many strategic fallouts. One, the development will have a huge impact on the law and order situation in many northeastern states, not just Nagaland, where NSCN(IM) wield lot of influence. It means that insurgency in many parts of northeast will now come down substantially. Two, it will isolate the Khaplang faction of the NSCN, known as NSCN(K), and will put more pressure on NSCN(K) to come around and accept India as their country and bring peace to the state. Three, it will be an effective counter to the north-eastern militant outfits'sc move of trying to put up a united front and emerge as a bigger body. Just about three months ago, a new umbrella group called United National Liberation Front of Western South East Asia (UNLFW) was formed with Khaplang as its head. UNFLW is an alliance formed by NSCN(K), United Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa-Independent), National Democratic Front of Bodoland-Songbijit (NDFB-S) and Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO). The major terror attack in Manipur in June this year, which triggered Indian military operation in Myanmar soon thereafter, was the handiwork of UNLFW. It was the first major operation of the UNLFW and declared the intent of the new outfit. However, the biggest benefit of the Centre-NSCN(IM) accord will be with respect to China. There have been reports that China is back to covertly aiding and abetting insurgent outfits in the northeast. The new outfit, UNLFW, is also known to have blessings of China. Monday'scs development will send a signal to China as well. Accord with NSCN(IM) will inevitably lead to better and real time intelligence which will keep China wary. This is especially because NSCN(IM) was the first north-eastern insurgent outfit which had established contact with China, a fact acknowledged by Muivah also in one of his many on-record interviews. Moreover, NSCN(IM) used to procure weapons from China and thus obviously would be a treasure trove of intelligence in this context.

Source - http://www.firstpost.com/india/more-peace-less-militancy-what-the-historic-modi-govt-nscn-im-pact-means-for-ne-india-2377288.html

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