TODAY -
“Many precious years and money gone that could have prospered Nagaland:” Jasokie
Source: Oken Jeet Sandham - 19:00 IST, 17 Feb 2004

Kohima, February 17 (NEPS): Former Nagaland Chief Minister JB Jasokie said the State could have prospered in manifold ways in the last 40 years after it got full fledged Statehood in 1963 had the funds been properly utilized.

He however rued that many precious years passed by and money meant for development was not properly utilized.

Speaking to NEPS here today, the former Chief Minister said if the present DAN Government worked sincerely with the funds, “it will certainly progress in many ways.” “But we are not doing properly for so many years,” he added.

Asked if the Naga people had changed we-are-not-Indian-and-Nagaland-is-not-part-of-India mindset after decades of associating with Indian system, Jasokie, who was one of the signatories of the 16-Point Agreement that gave birth to Nagaland as the 16th State of Indian Union, said, “many have changed that mindset but some are still thinking they are not Indian and Nagaland is not part of India.” The Statehood had, however, brought lot of changes in the Naga way of life, he asserted.

Jasokie, who was also the Secretary of the then Naga People’s Convention (NPC), recalled how they had struggled to bring unity of all sections of Naga people.

“We have initiated this crucial step for the unification of all Nagas and even incorporated it in the Agreement (16-Point Agreement) that if any Naga from outside willing to join them, they are welcome,” he said.

“We have asked anybody willing to join, but received no positive response from them.” Asked why former Nagaland Chief Minister and President of the NPCC, SC Jamir was often accused of being the signatory of the 16-Point Agreement when he (Jasokie) himself was too signatory, Jasokie said, “he (Jamir) talked too much, besides he was Chief Minister at a time when ongoing cease fires and peace processes were entered into with the Government of India.” “That was why people talked Jamir…Jamir…Jamir,” he pointed out.

“Otherwise, he was only my Joint Secretary in the then NPC.” Jasokie also said he was supposed to be the first Nagaland Chief Minister because he got the highest votes from amongst the members but gave to P Shilu Ao as he (Shilu Ao) was elderly man and with perfect understanding.

The former Chief Minister expressed his happiness on the present Government’s attempts to settle amicably the border disputes especially in Lotha areas with Assam and resume oil explorations.

Jasokie, who himself opened the present Champang Oil Field when he was Geology and Mining Minister, said Nagaland had vast mineral deposits and many of this still remained unexplored.


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