By- Staff Reporter | Date- May 16, 2012
There is a high possibility of Nagaland and other North Eastern states being put back under the Protected Area Permit (PAP) norms which would mandate foreigners to attain permission from Ministry of Home Affairs before visiting the region. This is owing to the controversy resulted by the visit of the European Ambassadors to Nagaland where the European Delegation had met political parties and other groups supposedly considered close to the insurgent philosophies of the state. The Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs has been in a tussle over the issue and so far, re-imposition of Protected Area Permit (PAP) seems to be the only answer to the Government of India.
It is to be mentioned that the European Ambassadors including ambassadors of Czech Republic, Hungary, Finland, Poland, Bulgaria and Slovakia had met Nagaland Chief Minister, Chief Secretary, Speaker of the Assembly, leaders of political parties, representatives of several NGOs, Student Unions and other active groups close to insurgents last week which had resulted to high fears amidst the Government of India. The Indian Government seems to be particularly worried over the fact that the Naga Issue and other secessionist issues of the region, which has already attained wide International attention, may be further internationalised through the recent meetings.
Anyone visiting the three north eastern states,- Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram is required to take Inner line Permit while citizens of China, Pakistan and Myanmar have to apply for Restricted Area Permit (RAP). In order to promote Tourism in the region, the norms were relaxed for the first time since 1958 in 2011 and foreigners were allowed to visit any NE state barring Arunachal and Sikkim without permission of Ministry of Home Affairs. However it seems Indian would be keen to filter the international visitors to the region so that its International Image is not hampered as complaints of Human Rights Violation, Draconian Military Laws, Exploitation and other complaints are in abundance to the North East Region which could embarrass the otherwise Gandhian Image of India to the world.
The recent hue and cry about the European Delegation visit is being called as another attempt of Indian Government to maintain secrecy about the internal issues regarding to the conflicts in its North Eastern Region.