Sunday, January 29, 2023

Isak ready to reconcile, offers olive branch to Khango

Staff Reporter

NSCN/GPRN (K) ato kilonser ‘col.’ (Retd) Isak Sumi has extended an olive branch to NSCN/GPRN (K) president ‘lt. gen’ (Retd) Khango Konyak to resolve their differences in the interest of the Nagas.
Addressing a press conference at his residence here on Sunday afternoon along with kilo kilonser T Athrong, Isak said he was also ready to tender apology and reconcile to work together for Naga cause. He claimed that WC, NNPGs convener N Kitovi Zhimomi had also appealed Khango to revoke his order, impeachment of Isak Sumi.
Isak also referred to the joint statement issued by NTH speaker Kughakhu Zhimo, kilo kilonser T Athrong and cabinet secretary Hokashe Muru published in the media on January 7.
He maintained that his termination order was issued by “Baba Khango” without consulting even a single order of the NSCN (K), stating that it was Khango and his nephew Shellen who had issued the termination letter at the instigation of others, which he considered as “unconstitutional” and “arbitrary”.
He also informed the media that the impeachment order was not from the designated camp but from the personal residence of Khango, adding that both army chief and deputy chief themselves denied any involvement and information in this regard.
On the ongoing controversy, he maintained that he would not blame “Baba Khango” as he was a senior leader and a veteran of 1960, who had been to China twice. He clarified that he also considered him as the foremost and ablest commander in Naga Army today.
“Therefore, regardless of the misguidance and plot that has been orchestrated by others, I do not lay any blame on him because all this did not originate from him but was fed by others,” he explained, further expressing the hope that all things would come to light in right time.
He also stated that he would not smear Khango’s reputation or image as he was a “fatherly figure”, nor would he indulge in character assassination through cheap propagandas.
Isak further clarified that he did not harbour any ill-feeling against Khango, adding that he was still looking for a reconciliation. He however mentioned that since the government had already adopted the impeachment resolution, he would have to convince the cabinet, council of kilonsers and entire house to revoke the decision. “If Baba is willing, I too am any time willing,” he commented.
He said the entire government set-up remained intact and that it was not in their interest and intention to form a government, noting that it was just the impeachment of the president.
But since the government was trying its best effort to reconcile, he said did not want to comment much over the differences between him and Khango.
On designated camp, he replied that it all depended on the situation, the extent of intervention of the Central government and reaction of Naga people.
Regarding the resolution to impeach Khango, he claimed that after receiving no response from Khango, the government with all its branches – civil wing, political wing, secretariat wing, almost 99% of regional authorities, almost 90% of grassroots workers led by home kilonser, Tatar Hoho, parliamentary hoho speaker, chief secretary cease fire supervisor and senior army commander – convened an emergency meeting, which adopted the resolution that Khango would be impeached and incumbent vice-president Luyanba Yimkhiung was appointed acting president.
He lamented the unfortunate incident and clarified that this was not his personal decision, but that of the entire set-up.
Isak hoped that the government would continue to carry on with the entrusted task and honour the ceasefire agreement with the Central government, stating that he would continue to be the co-convenor of WC NNPGs representing NSCN/GPRN (K).
He pointed out that WC, NNPGs in its emergency adopted a resolution that even if a single person remained with him, NNPGs would not desert him, while even if thousands returned to Khango, NNPGs would not accept them for the fact that this was a crucial juncture when all Nagas were longing for an early solution and unity.
He mentioned that he would not resort to such unconstitutional and unilateral act that clearly displayed the desire to sabotage the peace process and Nagas’ call for early solution.
Isak stated that even though his credibility was challenged and shadows had been cast on his character, he would not defend himself, pointing out that he intentionally chose Sunday for holding the press conference to clarify before Naga people and God.
Isak acknowledged that during his almost two-decade journey in Naga struggle he had committed many atrocities, but he explained that there was nothing personal in all of these.
While narrating about his life journey, Isak said he had been though very hard times, faced deaths many times, many of his comrades had fallen in the battle and he had also taken lives of adversaries, but maintained all these were for the “cause”.
He stated that he felt very sorry and regretted the loss of lives that had been part of the struggle. “Either friend or enemy, a soldier is to be honoured. And therefore I pay my tribute to all the fallen heroes and soldiers, regardless of friends or enemies,” he stated.
On the allegations made against him, Isak said he was grateful to his comrades and accusers for exposing certain uncomfortable personal issues in the media.
Isak said he realised that inorder to represent Nagas and to be true to the calling, “Nagaland for Christ”, a person who has a darker side of the story, should not be made to lead the Nagas. He therefore declared before God and Nagas to hear his story and make their own judgement.
Isak narrated after their government abrogated Cease Fire on 2015 with the government of India and went back to war path, they crossed over to Naga-Myanmar area and was stationed there for three to four years near the “Golden triangle”
He disclosed that till now, in the Naga inhabited Myanmar areas, opium cultivation was a source of income and also regarded as currency.
He admitted that he got hooked to opium, and gradually progressed to heroin to three to four years. Isak also admitted about social drinking habit.
However, after preparing to cross over to India following peace process with the Indian government, Isak said that he took excruciating treatment for about three weeks and finally gave up heroin.
He, however, said that since the recovery was a long process, he gradually started drinking again for about a year and was heavily entangled with drinking.
Being a representative in the negotiations with the Government of India, Isak said he realized that in order to bring changes as a leader, it was him who had to change first. With this conviction, Isak said he re-evaluated himself and resolved to set an example to his comrades and for others to follow.
“With God’s grace and with the support of my wife, family and friends, and after undergoing treatment for several times, I finally gave up all the substance abuses and addiction,” Isak said, adding that it had been two years now that he was free from all substance abuse.
He also lamented that even though national workers were actually supposed to follow the examples of teachings of Jesus Christ, he maintained that national workers, including him, had become the “most notorious character”.
With evil forces actively conniving to destroy the commitment of Nagas, he noted that the divisions, killings, fratricidal violence started since the “unfortunate” 1975 Shillong Accord, and now the splits, divisions and infightings had become the order of the day.
“Extortions, killings, intimidations, threat. It has become more or less identified with the national workers”, he lamented and pointed out that the confidence of Nagas were eroding and has become a very sad state of affair.

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