Dimapur, Oct. 23 (EMN): At the threshold of signing the Indo-Naga political settlement, Naga Scholars’ Association (NSA) appealed to both the Naga people and the government of India (GoI) to demonstrate political maturity and acumen towards finding an honourable settlement of the protracted conflict saying, “decision we make today will certainly define the political identity of the Nagas and its relations with India for decades to come.”

Stating that Nagas are in a critical juncture at the moment to decide their political fate they are on the threshold of signing the Naga-India political settlement, the association was of the view that the decision they make today would certainly define the political identity of the Nagas and its relations with India for decades to come.

In a joint statement, NSA president Dr. Zuchamo Yanthan and general secretary Dr. Lungthuiyang Riamei urged upon the Nagas to seriously consider for what they have been struggling for as the opportunity has come after the determined struggle and sacrifices made through the decades.

“The conflicting and disturbing views on the nature and the status of the political settlement are of great concern to the collective mind of the scholars which necessitates to be communicated to whosoever is concerned. We strongly believe that any signing of the current political agreement should have the consent of the Naga people, particularly with the concerted effort of the nationalist groups; failure of which would result in division and conflict in the Naga family,” the association cautioned.

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Also emphasising on the pre-requisite to consider the scope and status of the agreement, the association was of the view that the agreement should be able to incorporate the core elements that the Nagas have been struggling for decades.

“Among these core elements, the right to own the Naga National Flag and the Naga Constitution are crucial. These two elements are certainly the important components towards building a Naga nation. The duo are not only symbolic, but the defining frame of the political character, identity and status of a nation. This calls for a critical thinking and consideration on the part of the negotiators,” the association asserted.

While maintaining that the hard-earned current opportunity for Naga political settlement must not be missed, the association has felt it equally important that the agreement is not limited to the packages that address the immediate needs of the Nagas but also must be congruent to the political nature of our struggle, which would have long-lasting implications on the historical claim, geo-political position, dignity and identity.

In view of the magnanimity of the issue, the association has urged the Naga negotiators to take the right decision.

Towards finding an honourable Naga-India political settlement, the association also stated GoI must demonstrate utmost sincerity and responsibility. While acknowledging the desire of the GoI for settlement on urgent basis, it must consider the way for a durable settlement, rather than take the approach of piece-meal settlement, the association asserted.

Terming the situation as an opportune time, the association has urged the negotiators of the Nagas and the GoI to strive for an honourable solution which would pave way for durable peace and progress, adding the kind of settlement should manifest maturity of statesmanship of the negotiators.

~EMN

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