The “formulation papers” as mentioned in a report by The Hindu could simply be another dilatory tactical gambit, a sort re-signing of framework agreement part two. If this were to happen, the Government of India would succeed in claiming a new breakthrough even in the absence of any meaningful development in the Indo-Naga peace talks.
By Kumar Sanjay Singh
The news that Indo-Naga peace talks are scheduled to restart is a welcome development. However, whether the scheduled meeting will further the cause of lasting peace or it will another dilatory tactical gambit is still an open question.
It seems that the most significant paragraph in The Hindu’s report is:
“There are reports that a Central team has been working on a new set of “formulation papers” for packaging a set of offers, along with the old, to facilitate the final peace deal soon.”
READ THE HINDU REPORT: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/nscn-im-agrees-to-resume-peace-talks/article65905610.ece
The paragraph is loaded with tactical possibilities some of which are inimical for lasting peace. The paragraph could be read as a tactical attempt by the Government of India to create a new Memorandum of Understanding for peace between the central government and the NSCN (I-M). If this were to fructify the Framework Agreement would no longer remain the foundation for Indo-Naga peace talks. It will then be possible for the Government of India o whittle down the political demands of NSCN (I-M). In other words the final outcome of the Indo- Naga peace talks will be tilted more towards the agreement between RN Ravi and NNPGs than the Framework Agreement.
The second possibility is that the reported “formulation papers” could include aspects of the political proposals (perhaps with suitable checks and balances) of the NSCN (I-M). Even then, the ” formulation papers” could simply be another dilatory tactical gambit, a sort re-signing of framework agreement part two. If this were to happen, the Government of India would succeed in claiming a new breakthrough even in the absence of any meaningful development in the Indo-Naga peace talks.
It will be pertinent to point out that it is customary for the bureaucracy to write up the text of agreement between the center and the federal forces in an Aesopian language which can have more than one interpretation simultaneously.
Those interested in a lasting and honourable peace in the Northeastern region of our country must be on guard against the above outlined possibilities. Due vigilance must be exercised on the issues included in the “formulation papers”, its language whether its transparent or opaque and whether the agreement promises a definitive timeline or not, least it becomes a document of procrastination (the sad fate of Framework Agreement).
(Kumar Sanjay Singh is Associate Professor, Swami Shraddhanand College, Delhi University)