Naga Framework Agreement

IMPHAL | Oct 11: In a fresh development of the NSCN (IM) peace talks with the central government, the rebel group has said that it is ‘deeply committed to the Framework Agreement, and that it will stand by it at all costs in all events.’

The NSCN (IM) made the statement following the latest round of talks with the centre, a day after, which was held in New Delhi. A release maintained that the group is ‘strongly opposed to imposition of one’s will on the other. However, the statement did not elaborate on the particular last line.

On October 10, the NSCN (IM) team headed by its general Secretary, Th. Muivah and the Government of India Interlocutor, RN Ravi had held talks. Sources said that both the parties dwelt on the issues of ‘flag’ and ‘constitution’ during the nearly a day-long discussion.

Since the October 10 talk was inconclusive, both the teams have had agreed to meet again soon. One well-placed source informed that tonight that both the parties will hold the next round of talks ‘as soon as possible’.

Meanwhile, a report in Nagaland Today daily said that RN Ravi and prime minister, Narendra Modi had a closed-door discussion on October 10. It was not clear whether they held the discussion after the latest round of talks, or in the morning.

Meanwhile, in its official statement issued this evening, the NSCN (IM) alleged that, after 22 years long intensive negotiations, the Government of India ‘has now started trying to twist and backtrack on their commitments and words so that the hard-earned Framework Agreement is nullified on any pretext.

The statement further said, it is surprising to see that the Government of India is trying to hijack the outcome of the talks by using a section of people who are not mandated and do not represent the Naga people and the Naga national issue.

Further it cautioned, ‘It should be understood that any proposed solution that betrays the Naga national issue will be but repetition of the past mistakes.’ The statement added, ‘We are sure it will be a great loss for both the two peoples if we miss this finest opportunity. After all, the truth never dies. No power in history has ever destroyed it.’

According to the statement, recognising the reality that the case of the Nagas is political, and not that of a law and order problem of India, talks with the centre began resulting in the signing of the cease-fire agreement on August 1, 1997.

In the subsequent talks, the Government of India recognized the unique history and situation of the Nagas on July 11, 2002, which means that the Nagas have never been a part of Union of India nor that of Burma either by conquest of the two powers or by consent of the Nagas, the statement added.

Basing on the “recognized unique history and situation of the Nagas”, the Government of India and NSCN-IM signed the “historic” Framework Agreement on August 3, 2015, the NSCN-IM stated, while adding that “the BJP government under the leadership of the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi took bold and positive step where it recognizes the sovereignty of the Nagas stating, in keeping with the universal principle of democracy, ‘sovereignty of the Nagas lies with the Naga people’”.

The release further continued, it is also ‘states inclusive’ durable peaceful ‘co-existence of the two entities’ based on the principle of shared-sovereignty. By inclusiveness, NSCN (IM) ‘emphasizes’ inclusive of all Nagas in all areas and all aspects of agreed competencies, ‘and it cannot be misconstrued as union of India’, it added.

The ‘Naga national flag’ is the symbol of the recognised Naga entity. ‘It is the covenant of God with the Naga people and the commitment of the Naga people to God,’ it said, adding the constitution of the Nagas is the book form of the recognised sovereignty and mutually agreed competencies.

~IFP

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