Naga independence day

Dimapur, Oct. 23 (EMN): Representatives of NSCN (IM) and government of India will meet in New Delhi on Thursday for yet another round of Indo-Naga talks.

According to a report in The Indian Express, the government is pinning hope on the meet to be the final phase of the 22-year dialogue with the Naga group.

It cited government sources as having said that the working committee of NNPGs—an umbrella organisation of seven other Naga groups—has also been invited for talks.

“The government wants a final solution, and for that it was important to call all groups. This is despite the fact that NSCN (IM) has so far sought to be the only party involved in the talks,’’ it reported.

For a while now, the negotiations have been stuck at the demand for separate Naga flag and constitution by the NSCN (IM).

Also read: Naga Peoples’ Front makes stance clear on Naga issue

The Centre’s interlocutor, RN Ravi has made it clear that he intends to stick to the three-month deadline given to him by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The working committee of NNPGs has expressed its willingness to accept the solution at the earliest; with the rider that any contentious issues should be pursued post-solution.

However, the report quoted ‘kilonser’ K Chawang, former convener of the NSCN (IM)’s ceasefire monitoring cell, as saying: “There is no question of compromising on a separate flag and constitution. To us, the meeting is not a final meeting if the demands are not met.’’

He also said the Naga group is not looking at abrogating the ceasefire agreement in place. “We are not looking at picking up arms again. But we will continue the talks,’’ he added.

According to a top government source familiar with the development, “Efforts are still on to bring them (IM) on board with the final draft, as an agreement without it will not make much sense. The government is keen to conclude the agreement soon.”

~EMN

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