Dimapur, Oct. 12 (EMN): In the aftermath of a stormy round of Indo-Naga talks in New Delhi on October 10, the NSCN (IM) has accused the government of India of trying to nullify the ‘framework agreement’ by twisting and backtracking on their words and commitments.
“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. It should be understood that any proposed solution that betrays the Naga national issue will be but repetition of the past mistakes. We are sure it will be a great loss for both the two peoples if we miss this finest opportunity,” read a statement from the group on Saturday.
It asserted that the Naga ‘national flag’ is the symbol of a recognised Naga entity. The flag, it stated, is “the covenant of God with the Naga people and the commitment of the Naga people to God.”
The constitution of the Nagas “is the book form of the recognised sovereignty and mutually agreed competencies,” it added. “NSCN is deeply committed to the ‘framework agreement’, and that it will stand by it at all costs in all events. It is strongly opposed to imposition of one’s will on the other.”
It reminded that talks between the government of India and the NSCN (IM) began—“recognising the reality that the case of the Nagas is political, not that of law and order problem of India”—which resulted in the signing of the ceasefire agreement on August 1, 1997.
In the subsequent talks, the government of India recognised the unique history and situation of the Nagas on July 11, 2002, ‘which means that Nagas have never been a part of the Union of India nor that of Burma either by conquest or by consent’, it added.
“Basing on the recognised unique history and situation of the Nagas, the government of India and NSCN signed the historic ‘framework agreement’ on August 3, 2015. The BJP government under the leadership of the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi took bold and positive step where it recognises the sovereignty of the Nagas stating, in keeping with the universal principle of democracy, sovereignty of the Nagas lies with the Naga people.
“It also states inclusive durable peaceful ‘co-existence of the two entities’ based on the principle of ‘shared-sovereignty. By inclusiveness, NSCN emphasises – inclusive of all Nagas in all areas and all aspects of agreed competencies, and it cannot be misconstrued/interpreted as Union of India,” read the statement.
Three-month deadline unacceptable — Naga Hoho
A day after a top NSCN (IM) leader had told Eastern Mirror that the group would not be bound by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-month deadline to solve the Naga issue, the Naga Hoho has also termed the deadline as unacceptable.
Senior NSCN (IM) leader and an executive member of the group’s steering committee, V Horam had on Friday said that the three-month deadline was equivalent to serving an ultimatum and that the Naga group would not be bound by it.
The Naga Hoho issued a statement on Saturday asserting that setting a deadline, at a time “when the core issues which have landed the decades old political peace process into a deadlock are yet to be resolved amicably”, was unacceptable.
“If government of India decides to impose its ‘take it or leave it’ or ‘carrot and stick’ policies on the Nagas, the approach will only vitiate the existing peaceful environment and negate all the sincere efforts put in by both Indian and Naga leaders during the last many years in the quest for a lasting honourable solution,” it stated.
According to the organisation, since the beginning of the Naga movement, Naga people have asserted their position for right to self-determination and restoration of what rightly belongs to them.
The various historic agreements/accords between the Naga people and the government of India is evidence that Nagas were never part of India either by conquest or consent and will remain so in the future, it added.
“With this strong conviction and determination, the pioneers of Naga people had laid the strong foundation for the present generation to stand with vigour and perseverance. And today, we have sixty plus Naga tribes scattered across imaginary boundaries who have equally faced untold miseries, mental and physical agony in the past for freedom and glory of the Nagas.
“We are convinced that there is a ray of hope and opportunity for the Nagas to begin a new chapter in our journey of common hope for a bright future if we are united, but it will never be if we are divided,” read the statement.
It reminded the government of India to keep its commitments, and that Naga people have waited for 22 years to experience the post-settlement era of peace and development.
“…yet then, we cannot afford to succumb to inducements of economic packages and divide and rule policy of government of India. It is also affirmed once again that any accord that does not honour the Nagas’ legitimate rights for integration, separate Naga flag and constitution is neither honourable nor acceptable to the Nagas who have shed much precious blood and tears for this long cherished Naga dream.
“At this defining moment of history, government of India leaders are also reminded not to divide Nagas further with a piecemeal settlement in tacit understanding and collusion with a few groups backed by some public leaders with vested, parochial interests as it will only result in more conflicts and bloodshed among the Nagas,” the Naga Hoho maintained.
It also appealed to all the Naga negotiating parties to find common grounds, accommodate one another in the larger interests of the Naga family and arrive at an inclusive, acceptable and honourable settlement with the government of India.